Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Although Thanksgiving is traditionally regarded as an American holiday, this festive occasion is becoming increasingly popular in Mexico. While the iconic turkey may not be the star of the show, Mexico embraces its own unique way of expressing gratitude and coming together during this festive season.
Thanksgiving in Mexico is not just about the feast; it’s a time for families to reflect on the blessings of the past year and appreciate the company of loved ones. Unlike the traditional American menu, Mexican households often feature a mix of local dishes combined with a touch of Thanksgiving spirit.
One noteworthy custom involves creating a “Thankful Tree.” Families use colored paper to create vibrant leaves, each inscribed with messages of gratitude, and hang them on branches. This visually stunning tree becomes a symbol of the family’s collective blessings, fostering a sense of appreciation for the positive aspects of life.
Before the meal begins, it’s common for each guest to deliver a short prayer of gratitude. While the religious aspect of the holiday is still present in many American households, it’s especially prevalent in Mexico, since more than 80% of the Mexican population identifies as Roman Catholic.
Turkey, though not a staple, has found its way onto some Mexican tables, particularly in households with international ties or expatriates. Families may complement the turkey with a variety of local side dishes, creating a fusion of Mexican and American culinary traditions.
Additionally, some families integrate indigenous customs into their celebrations. In regions with a strong indigenous influence, families might partake in traditional dances, ceremonies, and rituals that express gratitude for nature’s bounty and the harvest.
Ultimately, the essence of Thanksgiving in Mexico lies in the coming together of loved ones, expressing gratitude for the year’s blessings, and savoring the flavors of both local and international customs. It’s a time when hearts are full, and the spirit of thankfulness transcends borders, bringing warmth to homes across the country.