New Year Celebration in Mexico
During the Guadalupe-Reyes festive period, which starts on December 12th and ends after the posadas and Christmas Eve supper, preparations begin to ring in the New Year. Most Mexicans celebrate the eve of the New Year with their loved ones at a private party hosted in their home. Younger people may attend dinner parties at hotels or other events hosted in public plazas. Some families who live in cooler climates may head to one of Mexico’s coastal resorts for some winter warmth and attend a dinner party at their hotel or rent a house for a private party. This is a time to celebrate the passing year and look forward to the new one that is about to begin.
In the Family Homes
In Mexico, families usually spend New Year’s Eve at home, either in their homes or at a nearby friend’s house. They may organize a party or a simple gathering with food and drinks. Afterwards, the celebration may continue outside on the local street, where people may gather with their neighbours for a fun and spontaneous gathering.
Gathering for Dinner Parties
Young adults usually gather with their friends and companions during New Year’s Eve to celebrate at local parties or public squares. In urban areas, particularly in Mexico’s three major cities, trendy and upscale hotels organize New Year’s Eve dinners and parties at a fixed price. Party-goers usually book one of the hotel’s rooms, and late check-out arrangements allow them to sleep off the night’s festivities.
Tourist destinations like Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, and the Riviera Maya are famous for celebrating New Year’s Eve. However, expect to pay a premium for experiencing the celebrations at these places, whether you stay at a hotel or rent a private home.
Some hotels and resorts offer dinner parties with dancing, live music, or other forms of entertainment for guests who want to participate. In addition, some hotels and resorts also welcome guests who are away from their property - check locally for details.
Some of the more luxurious hotels in Mexico’s provincial cities may host gala dinners and dance events. Room rates align with their high season prices, and there may be an additional cover charge to attend the dinner and cocktail party.
Visit the Markets
In bigger towns and cities, you can find civic events in and around the zocalo, the central plaza. These events usually feature market stalls, food and drink stands, live music, dance groups, and other forms of street entertainment. The street and public festivities differ from one town or city to another, so it’s best to check for details and arrangements locally.
Fireworks are incredibly popular for all celebrations in Mexico, and New Year’s Eve fireworks displays are among the most spectacular. In smaller towns and villages, locals usually set off private displays in their gardens, local neighbourhood town squares, or on their streets. Formal displays arranged by local governments, hotels, and resorts can offer extravagant shows featuring various pyrotechnics. These displays create spectacular light and sound shows that anyone nearby can witness and enjoy.
During the run-up to New Year, Mexican markets have a high demand for fireworks, grapes, and red or yellow-coloured underwear. These items are part of Mexican traditions where people eat twelve grapes at midnight, take one grape at each strike of the midnight toll, and wear red underwear for good luck in love and yellow underwear for good luck in money matters throughout the coming year. Some people who plan to travel in the New Year carry an empty suitcase around the block to attract good fortune in their future expeditions. Breaking a piñata is another way some people celebrate the New Year.
In the past, a well-off local community member would throw silver troy ounces coins from a high balcony or a rooftop to children who gathered below to retrieve the coins for spending in the New Year. Still, this tradition is only witnessed occasionally occasionally these days.
Traditional Mexican Food
On the eve of the New Year, it is customary to have a variety of traditional foods. Bacalao is a dish made from salted, dried codfish rehydrated and prepared in a stew with fresh chiles and green olives. Tamales are a natural corn paste flavoured with either sweet or savoury ingredients, wrapped in corn leaves, and steamed. Bañuelos are light and crisp Mexican wafers drizzled with a sweet syrup made from piloncillo. Traditional seasonal drinks include a shawl, a fruit punch spiked with rum, and rompope, similar to eggnog. Tequila, mezcal, champagne, and sparkling cider (sidra) are popular choices for New Year celebrations.
The Guadalupe-Reyes Festive
As the clock strikes midnight, party-goers in Mexico enjoy a feast and drinks, including grapes. They then follow a tradition of hugging and kissing, a part of Mexican social etiquette. Dancing and music go on into the early hours of January 1st and sometimes even until daybreak. After the New Year’s Eve celebrations, Mexico continues its festivities into the New Year with the Guadalupe-Reyes period. This period begins on December 12th with Día de Guadalupe and continues until January 6th, King’s Day or Epiphany.