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Travel & Outdoors 

Spending the December Holidays in Puerto Vallarta

November 18, 2019

Every year from December 1-12, local groups, organizations and associations participate in Peregrinaciones (pilgrimages) to Puerto Vallarta's iconic Cathedral, the Church of Our Lady Of Guadalupe.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Here in Puerto Vallarta, the holiday season is a nonstop ride of families, fiestas, and fun. Mexico is a large and diverse country, with a variety of holidays and traditions dating to pre-Columbian times. Depending where you celebrate there may be different traditions, however, there are a few holiday traditions that are celebrated throughout Mexico every December.

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 will hear the church bells ringing in the mornings and the nights are filled with people walking the Malecón, street vendors, and great entertainment throughout the city. Every evening, hundreds of local businesses, unions, neighborhoods, and organizations converge and participate in the pilgrimage to Puerto Vallarta's Cathedral, also known as the Church of Our Lady Of Guadalupe, 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 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 Mary and Joseph'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, family & friends. The fiesta 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 Year's Eve
In Puerto Vallarta we celebrate by having a late-night dinner with families and friend. 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 Malecón, 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 always a busy and fun time of year in Puerto Vallarta - and a great time to visit! From the colorful traditions and wonderful fiestas to the annual arrival of the Humpback whales in Banderas Bay, there is always something 'Very Merry' to do.

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