The Christmas season in Puerto Vallarta is full of fun, food, and traditions that begin on December 1 with the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe and continued until January 6 with Los Reyes Magos.
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In Puerto Vallarta the pilgrimage to the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in centro should not be missed, every night from December 1 – 12. The final pilgrimage on December 12 is the most important with a special mass dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. The evening is finished with fireworks and street parties throughout Puerto Vallarta, including small neighborhood fiestas.
Beginning on December 16 and through Christmas Eve brings Las Posadas. The event involves the entire community as they reenact the journey of Mary and Joseph’s search for an inn. Many of the reenactments are improv and can turn into a comedy, but the community involvement can be very inspirational. The Journey is planned for the reenactment as Mary and Joseph, typically Mary riding on a donkey, go from house to house asking if there is room at the Inn. Their final destination accepts Mary and Joseph and the street party begins. The Posadas take place in nearly every neighborhood for the nine nights.
On Christmas Eve, known as Noche Bueno, there is another pilgrimage to the church for Christmas Eve mass. There is a special mass known as Misa de Gallo, the Roster Mass. During the holiday season, nativity scenes are popular and setup with pride in the living room of the house, after the Christmas Eve special mass and fireworks, families return home and place baby Jesus in the nativity scene. Christmas Eve is more special than Christmas day during the celebrations.
After Christmas Eve the celebrations are not over, on December 28 you will celebrate Los Santos Inocentes, the equivalent to April’s Fools Day, where a practical joke is required.
Traditionally children of Mexico do not receive gifts for Christmas; gift giving is an even reserved for Los Reyes Magos, day of The Three Wise Men, on January 6. The day celebrates the day that the three wise men reached baby Jesus and brought gifts.
This could be a great time to experience Christmas in a different culture, and of course have a Christmas day picnic on the beach in a bathing suit and sandals, probably not available in your hometown.
Vacationing in Puerto Vallarta during the holidays is very popular, so it’s important to make plans early to take part in this amazing cultural celebration.