At Monarquia, we celebrate Mexican heritage and culture with our food. But Mexican culture is about more than just food, no matter how delicious. It is also rich with traditions that each generation passes down to the next. These are especially important during the holidays. In Mexico, Christmas is at the center of the holiday season and is widely celebrated. In fact, the season lasts for weeks, running from December 12th to February 2nd.
Here are some of the most significant Mexican holiday traditions.
Misa de Gallo
In English-speaking countries, Catholics traditionally celebrate Midnight Mass, which is exactly what it sounds like. In Mexico, the midnight church service is called Misa de Gallo, which means “Mass of the Rooster.” The Christmas celebrations really kick off at the conclusion of the church service, and in some communities, they even shoot off fireworks!
We mentioned above that the holiday season begins on December 12th in Mexico. To mark the start of the season, Mexican communities begin the practice of Las Posadas. In Spanish, posada means “inn” or “lodging,” so this tradition connects to the portion of the Biblical Christmas story where Mary and Joseph are unable to find anywhere to stay in Bethlehem. To remember their search for lodgings, Mexican children walk from house to house, carrying candles as they sing and ask for shelter.
To conclude the Christmas season, we have the celebration of La Candelaria on February 2nd. If you’ve ever heard English-speaking Christians refer to “Candlemas,” they are referring to the same day. In Mexico, the celebrations of La Candelaria vary from region to region. In some places, it is a relatively low-key affair, and one family will host a party for their friends in neighbors. In some areas, however, it is a major community-wide event. For example, in the city of Veracruz, they have a festival with parades and even a bullfight!
Celebrate the Holidays with Monarqia
To enjoy traditional Mexican food right here in Amherst, come to Monarquia! Try one of our sixteen specialty margaritas alongside our authentic cuisine. Whether you’re celebrating the holidays or gathering to enjoy a night out with friends, there’s no better place to do it than Monarquia.