Getting the most out of a very different Christmas in Yucatán

Merida’s Paseo de Montejo in 2018. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Mérida’s Paseo de Montejo at Christmas in 2018. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Yucatán is the place for lively celebrations over the Christmas holidays.

However, for obvious reasons, this year’s festivities will be much more subdued. With the prohibition of large gatherings and restrictions on mobility, traditions such as posadas and la rama have been canceled.

Also canceled has been the lighting of the Coca-Cola Christmas Tree and the children’s fair which usually surrounds it.

Efforts were made to bring holiday cheer to Yucatecos via a caravan-style Christmas parade, but when residents of Kanasín gathered together in numbers too large along the avenue to enjoy the show, the idea was scrapped and never made it past its first night.

Even Christmas menus have been affected as it is hard for many to justify roasting an enormous turkey for just three or four people. Home cooks on social media have said they will be roasting chickens and hams instead.

If the lack of festivities has you down, you may want to take an early morning walk — keeping your distance of course and trying to avoid maskless joggers — along Paseo de Montejo and the Remate to observe the lights and decorations installed by the city. You may also go for a drive and check out the heavily adorned fountain at the Glorieta de la Paz, or the always lovely Monumento a la Patria.

Despite the situation, there are things we can all do to make the season a little more cheerful. One way is to support local businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic. Another idea is to donate generously to your favorite local charity.

Some great local organizations you may want to consider include: Yucatan Giving Outreach, Estancia Infantil Nueva Vida (Home for girls) and Fundación BAI (sex education and HIV testing/support).

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.