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Christmas Eve in Mexico

Quick Facts

Most Mexicans celebrate Christmas Eve on December 24 by attending church masses, visiting family and friends, and enjoying special Christmas dinners.

Local names

NameLanguage
Christmas EveEnglish
NochebuenaSpanish
HeiligabendGerman

Christmas Eve 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015
List of dates for other years

Christmas Eve (Noche Buena) is a festive celebration throughout Mexico on December 24. It is the day before Christmas Day (Navidad), which marks the birth of Jesus.

A Cathedral in Oaxaca, Mexico, with poinsettia flowers in the foreground.

©iStockphoto.com/abalcazar

Celebrate Christmas Eve

From December 16 until Christmas Eve, children across Mexico take part in the posada processions. The term posada refers to an inn or hospitality lodging, so during these processions children are dressed in costumes to re-enact the story of Jesus’ parents Joseph and Mary looking for a place to stay before his birth. Parties are held after the processions, where children aim at hitting piñatas, which are paper-mâché decorations filled with candy.

Poinsettias, or Christmas Eve flowers (Noche Buena), are displayed in many homes. They come in different colors, including red, white, and yellow. Most Mexicans attend church masses (Misa de Gallo) and come home to family dinners. Typical meals include Christmas Eve salad (ensalada de Noche Buena), wrapped cornmeal dumplings (tamales), and dried salted codfish (bacalao).

Children in Mexico receive presents from baby Jesus, which is similar to receiving Christmas gifts from Santa Claus, on Christmas Eve.

Public life

Christmas Eve is not a federal public holiday in Mexico. However, shopping districts are particularly busy, as well as major roads and inner-city streets. People intending on travelling via public transport in Mexico should check with public transit authorities on any timetable or route changes.

About Christmas Eve

Many Christians in Mexico and worldwide celebrate Christmas Eve on December 24. Christmas Day, on December 25, celebrates the birth of Jesus, who Christians believe is the son of God. His actual birth date is unknown because there is little public information about his early life.

Did you know?

Children in Mexico also get presents from the three wise kings on Epiphany, also called the Day of the Holy Kings (Día de los Santos Reyes) on January 6.

About Christmas Eve in other countries

Read more about Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday type
MonDec 241990Christmas EveObservance, Christian
TueDec 241991Christmas EveObservance, Christian
ThuDec 241992Christmas EveObservance, Christian
FriDec 241993Christmas EveObservance, Christian
SatDec 241994Christmas EveObservance, Christian
SunDec 241995Christmas EveObservance, Christian
TueDec 241996Christmas EveObservance, Christian
WedDec 241997Christmas EveObservance, Christian
ThuDec 241998Christmas EveObservance, Christian
FriDec 241999Christmas EveObservance, Christian
SunDec 242000Christmas EveObservance, Christian
MonDec 242001Christmas EveObservance, Christian
TueDec 242002Christmas EveObservance, Christian
WedDec 242003Christmas EveObservance, Christian
FriDec 242004Christmas EveObservance, Christian
SatDec 242005Christmas EveObservance, Christian
SunDec 242006Christmas EveObservance, Christian
MonDec 242007Christmas EveObservance, Christian
WedDec 242008Christmas EveObservance, Christian
ThuDec 242009Christmas EveObservance, Christian
FriDec 242010Christmas EveObservance, Christian
SatDec 242011Christmas EveObservance, Christian
MonDec 242012Christmas EveObservance, Christian
TueDec 242013Christmas EveObservance, Christian
WedDec 242014Christmas EveObservance, Christian
ThuDec 242015Christmas EveObservance, Christian
SatDec 242016Christmas EveObservance, Christian
SunDec 242017Christmas EveObservance, Christian
MonDec 242018Christmas EveObservance, Christian
TueDec 242019Christmas EveObservance, Christian
ThuDec 242020Christmas EveObservance, Christian

Other holidays in December 2014 in Mexico

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