Here in Puerto Vallarta the holiday season is a nonstop ride of families, fiestas, and fun.
Mexico is a large and diverse country, with holidays and traditions dating to pre-Columbian times. Depending where you celebrate there may be different traditions, however there are a few holidays and traditions that are celebrated throughout all of Mexico.
December 1–12 – The Twelve days of Christmas – These are the twelve days leading up to the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. These twelve days you hear the church bells ringing in the mornings and the nights are filled with people walking the malecon, street vendors, and great entertainment throughout the city. Every evening people walk from their towns an villages towards the Virgin of Guadalupe Cathedral downtown, many times dressed in white and carrying candles as the sing and play instruments on their march.
December 12 – Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe – This day celebrates the day that Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared on Tepeyac hill to the native Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin. Here in Puerto Vallarta parades and parties start at 6:00 am and go through the night. Street vendors are out with great food and drinks, people dress up in memory of our Lady of Guadalupe and the Malecon is the place to be. Enjoy mariachi bands, fireworks and amazing food. One of the biggest celebrations in Mexico this is a must over the holiday season.
December 12–24 – Las Posadas – These days commemorate the Biblical New Testament story of Joseph and Mary's search for shelter in Bethlehem. It consists of candlelight processions throughout the city that stop at peoples doorsteps and reenact the night Mary and Joseph were turned away at peoples doorsteps. They also stop at various nativity scenes. You will see several candle light processions throughout town.
December 24 – Christmas Eve – This day celebrates the eve of the nativity of Jesus, as both a secular and religious winter holiday. In Mexico, Christmas Eve is a larger holiday then Christmas. Businesses are closed and the town is dedicated to spending time with family and celebrating. Christmas Eve goes all day. Breakfast in the morning with family or friends, parties starting in the afternoon and more parties into the night. Large groups gather and enjoy traditional Mexican dishes, drinks, music and family and friends. It is a fiesta that is sure to go into the late night or early morning hours and is one the biggest celebrations in the Mexican culture.
December 25 – Christmas Day – Christmas day is time to be with family and a day of rest. Children will play with their new toys, family will eat leftovers and everyone will recover from Christmas Eve!
December 28 – Day of the Innocents – On this day, people pull practical jokes on each other. It is equivalent to the U.S. version of April Fools' Day. If any person has fallen victim of the joke, the person pulling the joke will say Inocente palomita, literally meaning "Innocent little dove."
December 31 – New Years Eve – In Puerto Vallarta, we celebrate by having a late-night dinner with family and friends. Those who want to party generally go out afterwards, to local parties or night clubs or you can enjoy festivities in the street. In Puerto Vallarta there will always be a festival on New Year's Eve; celebrations center around the malecon, and the city's main boardwalk. You can expect a lot of firecrackers, fireworks, and sparklers. At midnight there is a lot of noise and everyone shouts: "Feliz Año Nuevo!" People embrace, make noise, set off firecrackers, and sing throughout the city.
December is a busy and fun time of year here in Puerto Vallarta and a great time to be here. From the wonderful fiestas to the arrival of the whales in town, there is always something to do.
For a complete list of all the happenings around Banderas Bay, go to our Events Calendar.
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