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Christmas in Cancun: 12 Things You Should Know

by Cara Gourley on December 20, 2010

Christmas Cancun

Laying on the beach, sun tanning in the high 70s instead of freezing back home can sound like an appealing idea. But many people have more questions about spending Cancun in Christmas.

People wonder if popular attractions or restaurants will be open on Christmas. Also many people might want to know what types of celebrations are happening in and around the Cancun area.

Here are some fun things to know if you are going to be spending the Christmas Holidays in Cancun:

1. Christmas Eve is the time most residents spend with their families. Christmas Eve in Mexico is called Nochebuena. This is the day you should be concerned about whether or not things are open in the evening.

2. Most restaurants are open on Christmas Day. Check out their websites ahead of time to see if they have special Christmas dinners. Also, do not expect them to be open early as many of the Christmas Eve festivities go very late into the night.

3. If you are staying at an all inclusive resort, they usually have lots of Christmas festivities. Many have special Christmas dinners and visits from Santa.

4. There will be lots of Christmas decorations. Expect to see the hotels and buildings filled with lights and more.

5. Many of the major Mayan Ruins like Tulum are open on Christmas Day. However, Chichen Itza is usually closed.

6. There are performance of Kukulkan Plaza from December 20th to December 31st at 6:00 p.m. The access to all these events will be completely free.

7. Los Posadas are 9 days of candlelight processions and lively parties starting December 16. Locals reenact Mary and Joseph is a looking for a place to stay. The children in the Posada ask three different houses for lodging, but are turned away from the first two. At the final house, there is a visit to the nativity scene followed by a party filled with food, pinatas and more.

8. Ponche con Piquete” is a hot alcoholic beverage made out of seasonal fruits and cinnamon sticks that is popular during the Christmas Season. It is often served at the Posadas.

Many Cancun households have nativity scenes

9. Nativity scenes are very popular throughout Cancun and the rest of Mexico. They are called nacimientos and are usually set up on December 16th when the Posadas start. On the night of December 24th the baby Jesus is added to the scene. The three kings are added later – on January 5th.

10. Pastorelas are reenactments of the shepherds coming to visit the baby Jesus. They are usually light-hearted versions of the story of the nativity. Check out Isla Mujeres, and Merida for the Pastorelas as well.

11. Los Santos Inocentes takes place on December 28th. The Day of the Holy Innocents is a religious commemoration of King Herod’s order to slaughter all male infants in search of the baby Jesus. This is kind of like an April Fool’s Day. Be careful not to fall for any pranks!

12. El Dia de Los Reyes takes place on January 6. This is the day that the three kings visited the baby Jesus. Children make lists of gifts requests to the three kings.

Have you visited Cancun over Christmas? What tips do you have for other people visiting during the Christmas Season?

Cara is the Director of Web and Video Production at All About Mexico. She loves traveling, taking photos of everything and writing about Mexico. You can follow her on twitter - @allaboutcara.
Cara Gourley
View all posts by Cara Gourley

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