75.2 F
Thursday, January 20, 2022

Mérida decks the halls in time for Christmas

Latest headlines

New Frontier Airlines route to connect Cancún with Houston

Citing an increase in demand, Frontier Airlines has announced a new flight between Houston and Cancún.

Yucatán’s muralism boom —  an explosion of color, tradition and meaning

Yucatán’s history of muralism famously dates all the way back to the elaborate frescoes of the ancient Maya.

Students at Mérida’s private Catholic Universities caught trading thousands of explicit photos of their classmates

Numerous students at Mérida’s Anáuac Mayab University are reportedly active in a “secret” chat group to trade intimate photos of classmates, as well as engage in cyberbullying. 

New benches at ancient archaeological site anger Izamal residents

Modern slab benches detract from an ancient ruin at Izamal, neighbors say. Photo: Courtesy Modern-looking benches installed at...
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. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.

Christmas is a big deal in Mérida. But after the lackluster 2020 holiday season, people in the city seem to be getting more excited than ever. 

Couples and families from across Mérida flocked last weekend to Mérida’s downtown to take in the Christmas-themed attractions. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Christmas markets have popped up along several points in the city, especially during weekends and despite Mexico’s economic woes, stores seem to be more full than ever.

This year’s shopping season kicked off in late November during the annual Buen Fin sale weekend. Long lines could be seen at several Mérida stores including Costco on Prolongacion Paseo de Montejo. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

The city’s parks and public spaces, as well as a great many roundabouts, have received the Christmas treatment from City Hall — as well as several corporate sponsors. 

What would Christmas be without corporate displays like these? Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

As is the case every year, Mérida’s Paseo de Montejo and Calle 60 have been fitted with Christmas lights and decorations, bringing a little extra magic to these already beautiful and historic avenues. 

The festively lit entrance to the Christmas village on the Remate, the spot that marks the start of Paseo de Montejo. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

The Remate has been fitted, as its tradition, with a large Christmas tree and several spots for fun family portraits and selfies.

Though most of the decorations on display in the city would be recognizable to virtually anyone around the world, others have a more distinctive Mexican flair. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Also returning this year are a large number of vendors, selling tasty treats and crafts — many of which are sure to show up under Christmas trees. 

One of the many festive decorations set up by City hall in Mérida’s parks. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

A decade or so ago, when the large roundabout on Prolongacion Paseo de Montejo was christened the “Glorieta de la Paz,” locals joked that it was and forever would be the “Burger King Glorietta.” It would appear that Burger King agrees with this assessment. 

Next time someone tries to correct you about the “proper” name of this roundabout, you could always just show them this photo. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Also back after a conspicuous absence in Mérida’s parks and shopping malls, is the big man himself — Santa Claus. 

Santa Claus makes an appearance in the Concha Acustica in el Parque de las Américas. But it would seem children will have to content themselves with a high five or fist bump instead of the usual sit on Santa’s lap or warm embrace. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Also making its appearance in time for the holiday is Mérida’s largest Christmas tree, located in a large shopping center complex in the north of town. But just like last year, the Coca-cola sponsored Christmas fair featuring shows and treats for kids seems to have been canceled. 

Locals like to joke that the massive tree is not really a Christmas tree, as it takes so long to set up and takedown, that in reality, it is up in some form for a third of the year. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Grocery stores around the city are well stocked with holiday favorites including rompope, an eggnog-like drink made with eggs, milk, and vanilla flavoring, and roscas de reyes — which are traditionally enjoyed after Christmas on Jan 6. 

Individually sized roscas de reyes on sale for those who simply don’t want to wait until Jan. 6. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Although this years’ Christmas will certainly not mark an absolute return to normal for the holiday, most people are feeling comfortable enough to up the ante on their celebrations — but social distancing protocols are not likely to be lifted until next year at the earliest. At least Yucatecos won’t have to endure the traditional double-wet kiss favored by the state’s aunts and grandmothers.

- Advertisement -

Subscribe Now!

More articles

What my rescue dogs taught me

I thought I knew a lot about dogs until I took in two rescues. I was wrong....

Bus full of construction workers catches fire in Mérida’s north

A bus went up in flames just before 8 this morning in Mérida’s Francisco de Montejo neighborhood.

Mérida’s new surveillance center now has eyes on over 6,700 cameras

Yucatán's government has opened a new remote surveillance center to oversee the state's thousands of active security cameras. 

600 acres expropriated in Quintana Roo for new Mayan Train route

Mexico has seized 198 lots of land in Quintana Roo along phase 5 of the Mayan Train's path.

Omicron strain now dominant in Yucatán

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 now appears to be the most common form of the virus in Yucatán.

Exploring Tazumal and Casa Blanca in Western El Salvador

Though part of the Mayan world, archaeological sites in El Salvador have largely remained unvisited by all but the most avid adventurers. But this tiny country boasts several interesting sites full of unique features and blends of cultural traditions. 

Mérida slated to build nearly 100 new highrise towers

Housing and business developments in Mérida have historically been fairly “close to the ground,” but that seems to be changing.

Yucatán’s COVID hospitalizations begin to creep up

Over 3,000 new coronavirus infections were reported this week in Yucatán. On Sunday alone, 652 new cases were detected, and that's likely...

‘Angels’ spreads its wings to the Yucatán Country Club gallery

The "Angels" exhibit has expanded into the exclusive Yucatán Country Club gallery, on view by appointment. Photo: Courtesy

Yucatán wakes up to a cold and windy ‘Mukul’

Mark Callum, a Mérida resident originally from England, helped this Chevy's owner move a huge branch behind the Paseo de Montejo...