Is Chichen Itza open on December 24th, 25th, 31st, and January 1st? YES. Normally the archaeological sites are open 365 days a year, Chichén Itzá has only been closed during the pandemic.
Would you like to go to the Riviera Maya for Christmas? Lately, this destination has become more and more one of the most requested vacation destinations to enjoy Christmas vacations. Year after year, more and more travelers are joining the idea of spending the Christmas holidays away from home and traveling to a place where the weather is nice and they can enjoy the beach.
If you are thinking of traveling to the Riviera Maya this Christmas, you can't miss all the Christmas traditions that are celebrated in Mexico to celebrate Christmas like a Mayan. Below, we tell you the most famous and outstanding traditions of what the Riviera Maya is like at Christmas, don't miss it!
This Mexican tradition is a peculiar way to welcome the Mayan Riviera at Christmas. This tradition tells that 9 days before Christmas Eve (December 24th) a party is celebrated where Mexicans accompany in procession St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary in search of an inn in Bethlehem where the birth of the baby Jesus will take place.
This feast is celebrated in the streets as well as in the homes, it is a very familiar day and it ends with the traditional Christmas Eve dinner!
Another tradition of the Riviera Maya at Christmas time is the famous piñata. It consists of the traditional piñata in the shape of a star with 7 points (each one of them means a cardinal sin). These piñatas are filled with candy, sweets, and different prizes.
The game consists of hitting the piñata with a stick and this represents the fight against temptations. To give more excitement to the game, you usually spin around several times to lose your sense of direction while the rest of the people sing the typical song.
As for the typical fairs in Mexico, the Christmas markets are traditional where we can find Christmas decorations, fruit, and food typical of the Christmas holidays. As well as the famous piñatas and Mexican candies.
Regarding the poinsettias the traditional red flower that floods Mexico at Christmas, this plant means "new life".
This tradition is not only celebrated in the Riviera Maya at Christmas but is celebrated throughout Latin America. The Pastorelas is another cultural interest that consists of theatrical representations where they transmit the experiences that the shepherds lived on their way to Bethlehem.
Every Christmas is accompanied by symbols and just as in Spain, for example, we place the Christmas tree, in Mexico it is essential to place the nativity scene and in the Riviera Maya at Christmas time it is not going to be less.
But it is not enough to place it any day, Mexicans have to place the nativity on December 16 and should not keep it until February 2 at the end of the holidays.
This nativity, also typical of Christmas in Spain, is a representation of Bethlehem with the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and the baby Jesus. They are also accompanied by the 3 Three Kings (although these figures will not be placed in the nativity scene until January 5th, the night of the Three Kings). We can also find in the nativity some animals of the manger, the shepherds, and an angel that accompanies the coming of the child.
In the Riviera Maya at Christmas time, Christmas Eve dinner is celebrated as another tradition of this holiday. Mexicans are good eaters and during Christmas Eve Dinner you will be able to eat typical dishes made with local products.
Some of these dishes are tamales, prepared with banana or corn leaves. The turkey stuffed to the taste of each family, cod, romeritos accompanied by mole, pork loin accompanied by salad, rice, mashed potatoes, or pasta. Also typical is pozole, a dish we already told you about in a previous blog post and which is delicious! Poche is a tamarind drink with pieces of sugar cane, apple, prunes, and some other ingredients...delicious!
And how can we forget the typical Mexican Christmas desserts such as the Christmas apple salad and the buñuelos (fritters).
Oh, and let's not forget the "recalentado", what's that? Mexicans eat all the leftovers on the 25th and keep the party going! This is how people eat in the Riviera Maya at Christmas time.
Another of the traditions that take place in the Riviera Maya at Christmas, which we share with Spain, is the Three Wise Men. Well, although we all know that Santa Claus has been popular for a few years now, here the Three Wise Men have always had the leading role. And as tradition dictates, the afternoon and evening of Three Kings Day are to be enjoyed with family and friends. And it is also tradition to eat the Rosca de Reyes which is very similar to the one we eat in Spain.