Mexico and the U.S. share a common border, participate in many of the same religions and celebrate the same holidays. The difference, with respect to holidays, is they are not celebrated on the same day and may be referred to by another name. If planning to visit Mexico, travelers may encounter celebrations and not be aware it is actually a holiday they are familiar with; just celebrated some other time.
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December is a busy month for most countries; however, Mexico anticipates the Los Posadas procession. For two weeks, participants dressed as Mary and Joseph go from house to house seeking shelter. Every night they are refused until Christimas Eve; where they are given shelter and a party at a welcoming location. The next day, Christmas Day, is not very important, as Mexican people do not give gifts at this time. While some households, particularly those in border towns, are starting to give presents and decorate with greenery, most families wait until January’s Magi feast.
April 1st is traditionally known as April Fool’s Day but in Mexico, December 28th is the time Mexicans have fun. The Los Santos Inocentes celebration comes during Mexico’s extended holiday celebrations. This celebration features a festival-type of atmosphere with parades, dancing and outdoor merriment.
The Feast of the Magi takes place from January 1st through January 6th. This religious event celebrates the journey the Three Wise Men took to visit the infant, Jesus. On the last night of the celebration, children leave their shoes out filled with gifts for the Magi and their horses. In return, the children awake to find their shoes filled with presents. Not as commercial as other Christmas and gift giving events, the Feast of the Magi is seen as a religious holiday and reciprocating gifts are shared out of kindness to one another.
Another religious event, Easter is less commercialized, as Mexican people do not conduct Easter egg hunts and choose not to decorate with bunny icons. There are no Easter baskets or other candy gifts. Celebrated on Saturday instead of the traditional Sunday, Mexican children are awoken by a tug to their ears and proceed to celebrate Easter Saturday outdoors.