Christmas in Yucatán: What We Love Most

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File Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

In Yucatán, Christmas decorations and retail displays started appearing in August, but Thursday’s “American Thanksgiving” symbolically kicks off what we call “the holiday season.”  

We asked our social media followers, “What’s your favorite thing about the holidays in Yucatán?” 

Valladolid at Christmas. Photo: Getty

Here’s what we heard back.

“The lights and moving tableaux strung across the streets.” — Alice Trueman

“I love that it’s truly a full season, not just one day. From the pilgrimage to posadas to midnight dinner to Three Kings to sharing roscas and tamales. It’s my favorite time here.” — Jenita Lawal

The festively lit entrance to the Christmas village on the Remate, the spot that marks the start of Paseo de Montejo. 2021 file photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

“Having the Gulf and beach right outside my front door. Incredible restaurants are hidden behind gates. Fishermen coming to your door with fresh catch, the coconut pie guys and beach food vendors. Beautiful scenery, cenotes, Mayan ruins, markets, the people! What’s not to love?” — Claire Watson

“I am Yucatecan, and I love Christmas so much that I really enjoy setting up my Christmas village, preparing everything for an elegant dinner with the family, buying gifts for each person, not expensive but something meaningful for them, in the early morning of Dec. 24, gathered as a family. We say a little prayer and put El Niño Dios in the manger.” — Enna C. Caballero

Christmas in Mérida. File photo

“I cannot wait to relocate. Rhyme to my reason, to find true meaning in the season!” — Norf Zerbutin

“It starts in our village of Chabihau on Dec. 1. Local kids come by with a small collection box and a picture of the Virgin and sing a song (like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) for donations. We can get up to eight groups of children each night.” — Camille Madryga

“When I lived in Merida (2012-2014), every day felt endless. There’s so much to do.” — La Momia

“I liked the kids coming to sing for the Virgin of Guadalupe. I still have a bowl of coins ready.” — Joey Rosen

“The decorated traffic circles. Self-promotion, but there are some that are very creative. My favorites have been Burger King and Big Green Egg Santas.”  — Chris Keyser

File photo

“I usually like seeing the lights on Montejo, but lately, they are not very festive in traditional colors.” — Claudia Joslyn

“So many lovely memories, but my favorites have to be the time spent with YGO at CAIMEDE decorating the Christmas trees with the children!” — Dell Ambs

“I love going to see the lighting of the giant Coca-Cola tree every year.” — Sara McClafferty Torres

Yucatán Magazine
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