Take a Christmas break in Mexico City

A lot of travellers from Canada and the United States head to Mexico over the Christmas holidays for some time on the beach, but if you’re looking for something different, why not try spending some of your holiday in Mexico City as well?

There are plenty of direct flights to Mexican sun destinations, but before you book, consider connecting through the national capital and making a stopover there to discover the many events that are planned around Christmas and New Year’s Day.

In a virtual press conference this week,  Marcela Ortíz, the Deputy Director of Information and Digital Content, of the Ministry of Tourism, Mexico City, outlined some highlights of the 264 events and activities that visitors can experience if they visit during the holidays this year.

Among them is one of Mexico’s great Christmas traditions, the posada. It’s a community celebration that features a symbolic procession that re-enacts the journey of Mary and Joseph as they searched for a place to stay. Participants carry candles and sing Christmas songs as they make a pilgrimage to a local home where they will consume traditional foods and drink and break open  star-shaped, seven-spiked piñatas that are emblematic this time of year. Ortíz said there will be posadas and pilgrimages from December 16 to 23 in each of the 16 neighborhoods that make up Mexico City.

Another religious occasion that falls at this time of year is when Christians come to celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe at La Basílica. An eye-popping six million parishioners are expected to flock to the world’s most-visited Marian church on and around December 12.

Another symbol of Christmas that has its origins in Mexico and Central America is the poinsettia flower. Visitors will get their fill of these lovely red and green plants on Paseo de la Reforma, the emblematic avenue of Mexico City, where the Christmas Eve Flower Festival will take place.

Also on Reforma, all 32 States of Mexico will host a Christmas Tourism Festival from December 12 to 17 where visitors and Chilangos alike can sample the crafts and cuisines from the country’s many diverse regions.

Ortíz said that the city’s neighbourhoods that are the most popular with tourists like Santa Fe, Paseo de la Reforma, Chapultepec, Zócalo, the Monument to the Revolution, Coyoacán, San Ángel and the Basilica, as well as Xochimilco and Polanco all have Christmas activities to seek out and are listed on their website at https://cartelera.cdmx.gob.mx.

Among the events she recommends includes, “Christmas in Mexico,” a show that will be put on by the Amalia Hernández Folkloric Ballet will perform at the Casitllo de Chapultepec. There’s also the The Christmas Craft Festival at the Casa del Risco Museum and the Coffee and Chocolate Festival at the Palacio de Minería.

In the heart of the Historic Center, Ortíz  added that visitors can enjoy the Verbena del Zócalo, with its Christmas fair and its spectacular and colourful Christmas lighting; live music and pastorelas, which will be free. It will start mid-December and run until the first days of January 2024, from Monday to Sunday..

Finally, to end the year, the countdown will be celebrated in a Time-Square style, but with Latin flare, at the Ángel de la Independencia, which includes a must-see New Year’s Eve concert.

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