January 6 marks the end of the holiday season in Mexico with ‘El Dia de Reyes’ (Three Kings Day). This final day celebrates the day the three wise men arrived with gifts for baby Jesus in Bethlehem. This is also the day when children all around Mexico will receive their holiday gifts, unlike the United States where children receive gifts on Christmas day.
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As part of the celebration, homes and bakeries will be filled with the aroma of ‘Rosca de Reyes’ the traditional wreath shaped bread that is served with friends and family in every city, town, and small village across the country.
Inside each Rosca de Reyes is a small baby Jesus figurine; the person who receives the piece of bread that contains the baby Jesus must invite everyone to their home on February 2 to enjoy another party of tamales.
The closing of the holidays also begins the exodus of national tourists this weekend as holiday vacation times will traditionally come to an end on January 6.
It was estimated over the weekend that 500 vehicles left the city heading north every hour and bus stations are running at capacity to Guadalajara and Mexico City.
The ‘Safe Winter’ plan by civil protection that added more patrols around the city and on highway 200 to safeguard traveling motorists will also come to an end.
The 2014-2015 holiday season in Puerto Vallarta was a record year for tourism with hotels maintaining 100% capacity and the introduction to the area’s first classic rock festival and Luminia Festival, both brining big names in music to the area.
The city hopes to have a record breaking year in 2015 as well. Many hotels are reporting over 90% occupancy through May 2015 and the increase in cruise ship arrivals and additional airlines servicing the Puerto Vallarta airport points to another banner year in tourism.