| | |

Christmas in San Miguel de Allende

Christmas in Mexico is a festive and joyous occasion. Celebrations typically combine religious traditions with family gatherings, cultural customs, and a lot of noise. Though department stores start selling Christmas decorations as early as September, most towns will not start decorating in earnest until the second week of December. With mild temperatures, colorful architecture, and decorations, Christmas in San Miguel de Allende is the perfect holiday getaway.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links which means we will receive a small commission when you make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Christmas in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Celebrating Christmas in San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende is well-known for its festive celebrations. Fireworks are a common sound and sight almost every night, but Mexicans kick it up a few notches during the holidays. Lights and pinatas are strung across the streets, poinsettias are planted, and windows are decorated with stars and mini-pinatas.

Life-size nativity scenes are displayed at home and in public parks. Besides the usual figures from the Bible, you may also see farmers, villagers, animals from other continents, and the devil. You may be a little puzzled as to why the devil is a prominent figure in Mexican Christmas traditions. While Jesus represents love for mankind, the devil is a reminder of morality and evil in the world. Since I’m not Catholic, I’m not going to dive deep into this. It’s best to ask your Catholic friend for more details.

Nativity Scene in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Feast of the Virgin Guadalupe- December 12

Several religious days take place during the holiday season. The Feast of the Virgin Guadalupe is celebrated every year on December 12. This is a Catholic celebration that honors the appearance of the Virgin Mary to Juan Diego, an indigenous Mexican peasant, in 1531. This event is considered a significant part of Mexican culture and has become one of the most important religious celebrations in Mexico.


Street decorations during Christmas in San Miguel de Allende

Christmas Posadas

The nine days before Christmas Eve, you can observe or participate in several posadas in San Miguel. A posada is a reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. The celebration lasts for nine nights, from December 16th to 24th, and involves processions, music, and the breaking of piñatas. Each night, participants go from house to house, singing the posada song, symbolizing the journey of Mary and Joseph. In San Miguel, these posadas are in public areas for tourists to see and also take place on a smaller scale in neighborhoods.

Read about our neighborhood’s posada and learn the posada song in our post: Posadas and Pinatas.

Street with star decorations during Christmas in San Miguel de Allende


Christmas Eve- December 24

The night of December 24th is a special time for families to gather together. Because Mexico is predominantly Catholic, people choose to attend Mass at one of the many churches in San Miguel. Dinner is served late and often includes traditional Mexican holiday dishes like bacalao (salted cod), tamales, turkey with mole, and ponche (a warm fruit punch). At midnight, there is a festive toast and children often get to open a present.

Street with star decorations during Christmas in San Miguel de Allende
Photo by Karen Luttrell-Langdon

Christmas Day- December 25

Depending on who you ask, children will get presents on Christmas Day. This is a day of rest and usually includes the family from the night before and friends during the day. We enjoy walking around the neighborhood or Centro watching the kids ride their new bikes or twirling in their new dresses.

Christmas tree in San Miguel de Allende
Photo by Karen Luttrell-Langdon


Three King’s Day- January 6

Three Kings’ Day, known as “Día de los Reyes” in Mexico, commemorates the arrival of the Three Wise Men (Magi) to see the baby Jesus, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This day is the main gift-giving day for most Mexican families.

King’s Cake or “Rosca de Reyes” is the traditional bread for Three King’s Day. This sweet, oval-shaped bread is decorated with candied fruit and represents the crown of the kings. Baked inside the bread is a small figurine, representing the baby Jesus. The person who finds the figurine is responsible for hosting a celebration on Candlemas Day (Día de la Candelaria) on February 2nd. If you choose to buy a King’s Cake at the grocery store, you may find up to 9 Jesus figurines in the cake! Other traditional food and drinks on this day include tamales, hot chocolate, and atole (a hot drink made from masa or corn dough). You can find these food and drink specialties in the Mercado.

Street decorated at Christmas, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Tips on Visiting San Miguel de Allende during Christmas

  1. There’s no need to rent a car if you are staying in San Miguel de Allende. Many hotels do not have parking, and the Estacionamientos (parking areas) are small, tight, and expensive. Walking will be the quickest way to get around town.
  2. The boutique hotels in San Miguel de Allende are exceptional, and you have plenty to choose from. To be in the heart of the action, Hotel Madi or Casa Hoyos are perfect choices. They are both located between the Parroquia and the Mercado. Check availability for your dates through Booking.com.
  3. The month of December is a busy time in San Miguel de Allende. Reservations at restaurants for both lunch and dinner are strongly recommended. Our post on Where to Dine in San Miguel de Allende offers some of our favorite places for food and views.
  4. You can reach San Miguel de Allende via Queretaro International Airport (QRO) or Guanajuato International Airport (BJX). Both are a little over an hour away from San Miguel.

Pin This!


Christmas in San Miguel de Allende is a rich and diverse celebration that combines religious customs with the warmth of Mexican hospitality and traditions. I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about Christmas in Mexico. And if you choose to celebrate Christmas away from home, San Miguel de Allende is a great option with its walkable streets and surrounding wine region.






Similar Posts


  1. I have been trying to get to San Miguel de Allende for so long and now I am newly inspired! I am going to try to talk my sister into a trip next December! What an absolutely lovely place to visit during the Christmas season.

  2. Christmas in San Miguel De Allende joyously reminds me of Christmas in the Philippines. As soon as September begins, the festive spirit kicks. Both places are very similar even though worlds apart. I think that’s where the real charm lies 😉 #flyingbaguette

    Jan – https://flyingbaguette.com/

  3. What a lovely post! It was great to learn about the Christmas traditions in San Miguel de Allende. How interesting that the devil appears in nativity scenes. We loved Mexico when we visited and long to return. We missed San Miguel de Allende and it’s a high priority to visit when we return!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *