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Mexican Christmas Songs

Even though Mexico has become a country with modern cities and comparable life styles to cosmopolitan cities as New York or Tokyo, many of its habitants still treasure their traditions as the last bastion of memories of past generations.

This would be the case of the Christmas traditions, which remain in the Mexican homes as a refuge for the constant changes that Mexicans have experienced. In fact, Christmas is for Mexicans an invaluable time to rest, remind, forgive and above all, to celebrate either the religious aspect or the pure social aspect.

The preparations for the expected Christmas usually start several weeks earlier. Mexican women have a main role and under his command men, children, grandparents and whole family work together to make Christmas a great time. While there are countless traditions, let's see some of the most representative:

Pastorelas. The Pastorelas are representations which takes place in schools, streets and even in big theatres. The story is always the same: the eternal battle of the shepherds by getting to know the child Jesus in the stable despite of the efforts by the forces of evil to prevent it. However they have endless variations dotted with sarcastic references to social, political and local events.

Aguinaldo. This custom is loved by children and consists in giving small baskets of sweets distributed during the Posadas. For children, it would be equivalent to the Christmas bonus given to the parents.

Posadas. Eight days before Christmas, these festivities take place every night until Christmas Eve. In spite of younger generations that have transformed many Posadas in parties with modern music, most of traditional elements are included: the Procession, the famous Piñata and the singing of the Letania. The Letania is a small representation where half of the people of the party remain outside of the house asking for accommodation for the child Jesus. The people inside refuse them until is mentioned the child Jesus and let them in. Delighting of both groups is represented by the last verse:

Entren santos peregrinos, peregrinos,

Reciban este rincón

Que aunque es pobre la morada, la morada,

La damos de corazón.

Saint pilgrims, pilgrims come in

We give you this little corner

Although is poor dwelling

We give you from the bottom of our hearts

Cena Navideñay Antojitos. Christmas dinner and cravings are important part of the celebration. Particular details depend on each region of Mexico but the more common would be: the Ponche, hot fruit drink (sugar cane, apple, orange, peach and others) sometimes with a bit of tequila or brandy, the Buñuelos, exquisite pieces of fritter bread with sugar, the Romeritos, prepared with vegetables and mole old recipe, the Tamales of corn dough stuffed with chicken or pork meat, fruit cakes and of course the main dish of Christmas which generally is turkey, chicken or baked pork leg. It is common to see many people in the churches late at night before going back to home for dinner. Even though Mexico has changed in this regard, religion remains as important matter for families.

After dinner, families interchange and open Christmas gifts. Many people invest heavy amounts of money saved during the year in this night.

A deeply rooted in traditional families is singing to the child Jesus. They take a child Jesus doll and it is rocked in the arms or in blankets singing a lullaby:

A la rorro niño, a la rorro ya

Duérmete mi niño

Duérmete ya

Hush my boy, please hush

Please sleep my boy

Sleep now

La Piñata. The Piñata is a Mexican symbol that has spread in the world. Brought to Mexico by the Spanish missionaries, plays an important role in all Mexican festivities. Both children and adults go in turns for hitting a Piñata hanging from ropes with a wooden stick. The joy of the participants is complemented by a song:

No quiero oro

Ni quiero plata,

Yo lo que quiero,

Es romper la piñata.

I don't want gold

I want neither to silver,

I want to,

It is to break the Piñata.

The Piñata is made usually with cardboard and represents famous figures. It is full usually with fruit, sweets and even toys. It is normal to break more than one Piñata.

Merry Christmas

Mexico is a country with many customs depending on the region. For example, we find in the South of the country a custom named La rama, (The branch): Children decorate little branches and they went home at home singing in order to receive candies.

Even with the normal ups and downs of all country from populous towns such as Mexico City, the spectacular Cancun until the more humble people of Mexico, all in this country make an effort in order to don't lose their traditions that fill them with great memories.