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Mexican Christmas Traditions

Today is December 1 and thus begins the start of Christmas in Mexico.  In the first 12 days pilgrimages are made all over the cities, with people walking and carrying the Virgin Mary and/ or a nativity scene and always ends at the Guadalupe Church here in Puerto Peñasco.  It officially ends on the 12th which is Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe or Virgin of Guadalupe Day.  This is followed by groups ranging up to a couple of 100 people.

Each day the parade starts at a different location.  Today was the start of them which left the Catholic Church in the Old Port followed by about 150 people.  This starts with very large loud fire works that are not colorful but rather a huge BOOM.  They walk to all the other Catholic Church and as they go, more and more people walk in.    Many hotels and other businesses  have decorated their vehicles and they have floats in the parade.  On one night most of the beach vendors or shop owners do this only the event ends at my neighbors home with an average of 200 adults and children.  I was fortunate a few times to be invited over and love the tradition.  They are carrying the Virgin Mary or Virgen de Guadalupe and knock on the door of each home they stop at asking in Spanish if there is room in the inn.  When the answer is no, they continue on until they come to the last house where they are granted permission to enter. The sounds of people singing Christmas music in Spanish is so nice and soft. Upon entering, they recite a story asking if there is room in the inn and so it goes back and forth until they are told there is room in the inn.  There they all come in and they are all served food and drink.  Then the little ones break open the pinata and the parents enjoy beverages. In the case of my neighbor Martin, it was Tequila and Squirt.  I dreaded the of mixing good Tequila with Squirt, so a wife of one of the vendors came over and asked “Do you prefer Tequila solamente?”  I responded yes by itself.  She smiled and said she did also and so we poured our tequila and visited.  I was truly amazed, how much the ceremony is like the United States.  So I could recite the verse in English.  It has such a special meaning to me, to be included in an event like this.  Below is the schedule for the rest of the Pilgrimages, so if you are here in Puerto Peñasco do feel to join in or just sit and enjoy as they pass by.

Pidiendo Posada en MExico

 This is the calendar
December 1 –  5:00PM Starts From Church in Old Port
December 2 – 5:00PM Starts From Peñasco del Sol Hotel
December 3 – 5:00PM Starts From The church Juan 23
December 4 – 4:00PM Starts From General Hospital
December 5 – 4:00PM Starts From San Jose Church (La Choya)
December 6 – 5:00PM Starts From Sacred Family Chapel
December 7 – 4:00PM Starts From Cerro de la Virgen (Highway to Sonoyta)
December 8 – 4:30PM Starts From Teresa de Calcuta Church
December 9 – 5:00PM Starts From San Francisco Church
December 10 – 5:00PM Starts From San Judas Tadeo Church
December 11 – 5:00PM Starts From Church in Old Port

Reyes Magos
Three Wise Man

On December 15th start the Christmas Posada’s or parties.  I believe I may have touched on this before, but the children do not receive their gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas day which has been a Christmas Tradition on the United States and many countries.  The children get their gifts on January 6 also known as Los Santos Reyes or is known as the Three Wise Men Day. Rosca de Reyes (Kings’ ring) is the name of the bread that is served. These breads have a little plastic Baby Jesus  hidden in them.  Then on February 2 it is Dia de la Candelaria and if you are so lucky to have received the Baby Jesus, you get to throw the party and make Tamales.  I know this holiday tradition very well as I ALWAYS get the Baby Jesus.  Not knowing how to make a small batch of Tamales, I make a dish traditional to New Mexico.

Rosca de Reyes or Kings Ring
Rosca de Reyes

This year with our 15th Annual Bike Week, we did a Toy Run, so for all of those of you that brought toys we will be passing them out in January.  It is not to late to donate, send me an email in the comment section or take toys or money if you want us to shop here to the RP360 office.  Make sure to come out to the ride and volunteer to help pass out toys or food.  It will again be held at the Convention Center and you can ride your bike or drive.  Last year we had at least 1500 – 2000 children.  Remember this may be the only gift the child receives.  Last year I donated a bunch of Beanie Babies I had been collecting and loved the expressions on the little ones faces.  The TOY DRIVE will be January 9th and the local clubs have made huge commitments for donations of toys, so come out and join us.


As I was writing this blog, I learned a great deal more than I knew.  One thing I just learned that in a real Posada, the Piñata has 7 points that represent the 7 deadly sins.  This is not to be confused with 7 Deadly Zins a Lodi, Ca wine.  I would like to personally invite you to come to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico for Christmas or any time, it will be the best time of your life.

I am closing with a picture of all the volunteers for the Bike Week registration as we celebrated our successful event and are looking to see you next year.  If you see these folks on the street, ask them about volunteering with the toy drive or to help collect toys.  They wall all be more than happy to help you.  Also check out Madre Park across from the Tiburon Baseball Stadium on Benito Juarez as it is getting all decorated for Christmas.

Rocky Point Rally Volunteers
Photo by Beverly Arrowood

Until next time, have a very Feliz  Navidad and Prospero Año Nuevo

Holidays in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico

I have to start this blog with a personal story.  My husband I decided to finally replace our old Christmas tree, so I went on line and ordered one from Lowe’s.  Spoke with a great guy named Shawn who described the tree, so I complete my order.  This was Dec. 17th and it said 3-7 day delivery, so in as much as it had to be delivered to the border I figured it would probably take 7 days.  We had already planned to go to the US  on that Saturday, so on the 19th I called Lowe’s only to find it had already been delivered on the 18th.  Well they charge $10 to store up there at the gas station in Lukeville, and in as much as we got free shipping, we decided to go up on the 20th to retrieve it.  Also decided to take Tucker for a ride with us.  Got up there by 8 am and at 8:30 and $10 later, the nice young man loaded it the JEEP and off we went.  Of course we got the dreaded red light.  So I opened the window and handed the cute polite young man on the Mexican side Tucker’s papers and he said why?  I said por mi perro (for my dog)… little did I know for once Tucker decided to lay low!  Next he wanted to know what was in the box… again I was so prepared and told him it was our Christmas tree handed him the receipt and I was so proud of myself as I was now for 2 for 2.  Then he says, “Register” and I said oh geez (not in those words) as I usually carry it in my purse.  So as Bill and I tore the JEEP apart, we had them backed up with everyone getting the red light.  Seemed like a lifetime, but we finally found it and I showed it to him and he smiled and said go!  No problem, we were off.  The next day, we made out trip to Sun City for doctor appointments and I wanted to make sure I could bring a turkey, so we stopped on the Mexican side and guess who was there?  Yup the cutie, so when I called him over, he just smiled.  On our return trip he and another young lady saw us and just waved us on!   It pays to be polite there.

Christmas tree MExican
Photo by Beverly Arrowood

So now the tree is up and decorated, the house is decorated and it feels like Christmas.  I am sure, soon the city will have the Nativity Scene up complete with the live animals and the parks will also be lite up.  I am sending you a picture of our tree  (which is complete with decorations from  all over Bill and my travels over the world including Disneyland in Hong Kong) and my take on an old antique picture frame I hauled from Wisconsin over 35 years ago.  The outside of the house is almost done except for the old Santa and 2 reindeer that have to hung from the balconies.

As we all prepared to have Thanksgiving with family and friends, we also remembered to give thanks to  our troops overseas and our military who could not be so lucky to spend time with their family.  The other day, I actually looked at  a young man who is the military here as there were filling up with gas and told him thank you for his service in my best Spanish.

Rocky Point, Christmas Tree
Photo by Beverly Arrowood

Here in Puerto Peñasco, things were very busy.  Beside Thanksgiving Day events at various restaurants, we had many events going on.  One of the annual events is the Art in the Park in Las Conchas.  Despite being windy and cold (to our standards) they had a great turnout and I believe all the vendors were pretty happy.  It seemed everyone from the US brought Rhino’s, sand rails or other such vehicles. We saw a lot of license plates from all over.  The restaurants and bars should have been happy as you could not get into the Old Port.  Everyone has a different idea of how to the do the birds.  Friends from Tucson and Green Valley, dig a huge pit in the sand in front of Playa Bonita for their birds and pork butt.  The rest of us do them traditionally  in the oven, Weber or smokers.

Holiday ornaments mexico
Photo by Beverly Arrowood
Traditional Mexican Decorations

That brings us to the onset of Christmas and New Year’s in Mexico.  The stores are loading up with Christmas decorations and fresh Poinsettia’s and today I got 2 that are about 24″ tall and full of blossoms for $5.00 USD each.  The grocery store had fresh Eucalyptus leaves, so these have been added to the wreaths.  For the last 14 years I have worked in real estate here in Puerto Peñasco and we never got any holiday off!!! So now I working for a company  that gives me the US holidays off, but other than Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving Day I work the rest as I don’t want to be a double dipper, taking off the Mexican holidays also.  On Dec. 18th we are having our “Secret Santa” event at the office along with the ugly sweater contest.  Well, let me tell you, I own 15 Christmas sweaters and none of them are ugly, so I guess I may not be the winner of that one.  We are also having a company Posada on the 21st so I am really looking forwards to these events as well.

Market in Mexico
Photo by Beverly Arrowood
Glass Blower with his delicate items

We will find ourselves volunteering at various charities passing out food and toys to the less fortunate than us.  This is a real eye opener here to see just how big the little town of Puerto Peñasco is and how many have so little.  I would like to invite any of you reading this, if you are here, let me know if you want to help volunteer somewhere.

flea market
Photo by Beverly Arrowood
View of Some of the Vendors

My only Christmas wish is that you that are following my blogs, call or email me with suggestions or questions.  I have had questions from Michigan to Lake Chapala outside Guadalajara, MX. 

Wine tasting
Photo by Beverly Arrowood
Shirt from apparel and jewelry made by JAR (Judy Ridgeway)

PLEASE start watching here as we will be doing Q & A’s starting next week, so send me your pics if you can and of course your names so I can feel like I know you.  In my next blog I will touch more on the tradition of Christmas here in Mexico.

I will update you in December as to upcoming events.  Please come do to visit us as I want to share my city with you.

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