Christmas Eve tends to be the day in Mexican homes when it comes to Christmas, as it’s on Christmas Eve when the primary holiday celebrations take place.
Noche Buena is heralded with the ringing of church bells, fireworks and blowing whistles. Once the final Posada ends, celebrants go to churches and attend what is known as the Mass of the Rooster (Misa de Gallo).
After mass, everyone heads home for the traditional Christmas Eve feast, which includes tamales, chiles rellenos, rice, menudo, and possibly turkey or roast pig. Diners also feast on hot fruit or cider punch. Alcoholic beverages might include spirits such as rompope, an eggnog-like drink which often includes rum as a main ingredient.
Tamales and other foods traditionally are served in Mexican homes right after midnight on Christmas Eve/early Christmas morning.
Celebrants also gather around a personal nativity scene, which is a recreation of Jesus’ stable birthplace,. Construction starts several days before Christmas Eve and finished on Christmas Eve itself.
Christmas Eve ends with the opening of gifts, breaking open a piñata, and more activities.
Christmas Day itself traditionally is a day of rest.
If you’d like to recreate a Mexican-style Christmas Eve dinner here – again – is a listing of the foods included within it:
- Chiles Rellenos
- Spanish Rice
- Maybe Turkey or Roast Pig
- Hot Fruit or Cider Punch
- Rompope (for adults only, if spiked with rum)
If you’d like to enjoy Tex Mex food on the holiday, our Mattito’s locations are open regular hours Christmas Eve. We are closed Christmas Day so that our employees may enjoy the holiday with their loved ones. Contact us for reservations.