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December Festivals and Events in Mexico

What's on in December

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Poinsettia Bloom

The "noche buena" blooms in December

© 2006 Suzanne Barbezat, licensed to About
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December and January tend to be the coolest months of the year, so no matter your destination, you'll probably want to bring a sweater just in case, and possibly a jacket if you're heading to high altitude spots. December has plenty of festivals and events. The feast day of Mexico's patron saint, Our Lady of Guadalupe falls on the 12th, and Christmas celebrations begin on the 16th with the posadas. This is high season for many destinations; particularly the last couple of weeks of December can be crowded, so book in advance. Here's a listing of some of the most important festivals and events in Mexico this December:

Gran Maraton Pacifico - Great Pacific Marathon
Mazatlan, Sinaloa, November 30 and December 1
Over 6500 athletes participate in this event, now in its 14th year, with 5K and 10K races. There is also an event for the visually impaired and people who use a wheelchair or crutches.
Website: Gran Maraton Pacifico
Mazatlan City Guide

Feria Nacional de Plata - National Silver Fair
Taxco, Guerrero, November 30 to December 7
Top craftsmen, artists and silversmiths compete for prizes in this festival which includes concerts, dances, fireworks and a huge range of silver items for sale. The festival showcases the depth and breadth of Taxco's silver industry.
More info: Feria Nacional de Plata
Taxco City Guide

Guadalajara International Book Fair
Guadalajara, Jalisco, November 30 to December 8, 2013
Over 1500 editorial houses from 39 countries gather for the largest Spanish-language book festival in the world, now in its 27th year. This year's guest country is Israel.
Website: Guadalajara International Book Fair
Guadalajara City Guide

Sunset Boat Parade
Cancun, Quintana Roo, December 1
The holiday season in Cancun kicks off with a parade of boats and yachts through the Nichupte Lagoon. The boats are festooned with Christmas lights and decorations.
Website: Sunset Boat Parade

Mexico City Christmas Festivities
Mexico City, December 8 to January 6
The Mexico City government will once again open an ice skating rink in the Mexico City Zocalo, opening on December 8, and running through January 6.
More about Mexico City's Christmas Festivities from Midwesterner in Mexico.

Fiesta of the Virgin of Guadalupe
Throughout Mexico, but particularly in Mexico City, December 12
The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe commemorates the traditional account of her first appearances on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City in 1531. The main celebrations take place in Mexico City, where thousands of pilgrims converge on the Basilica de Guadalupe to pay tribute to Mexico's patron saint. The square in front of the Basilica is a stage for singing, dancing and celebration.
Read more: The Basilica of Guadalupe
See photos of the Basilica of Guadalupe

Feria de la Posada y Piñata - Posada and Piñata Fair
Acolman de Nezahualcoyotl, Estado de Mexico, December 16 to 23
An annual celebration near Mexico City, in which the Christmas traditions of piñatas and posadas are celebrated. Workshops in piñata-making are offered.
Read about the history and meaning of the piñata.

Posadas
December 16 to 24
Every night from the 16th to the 24th of December, there are street processions that culminate in house parties known as posadas, in which Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem is remembered.
Read more: Posadas

Noche de los Rábanos - Radish Night
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, December 23rd
The Oaxaca Zocalo is filled with stalls during this popular event in which local craftspeople carve and assemble radishes into all different types of figures, from flowers and animals to saints and nativity scenes.
View photos of the Radish Festival
Oaxaca City Guide

Navidad - Christmas
December 25
The last posada takes place on Christmas Eve, "Nochebuena," and families have a late-night supper. In cities there are calendas, festive processions and other events.
Read more: Mexican Christmas Traditions

Año Nuevo - New Year's Eve
December 31
Mexican New Year's Eve traditions

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