Located in the American Continent, with an area of almost 2 million of square meters and with a population close to 115 millions of people, it is located one of the most interesting and beautiful countries in all the world, Mexico.
The location of Mexico is ideal, because it is between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean; the border in the North is with the United States of America, and in the South with Guatemala and Belize. The capital of Mexico is the ‘D.F’ (Distrito Federal or Mexico City), and according to the UN it is the 4th most populated city in the whole world nowadays; Mexico has 32 States (including Mexico City), the most populated States are: State of Mexico, Distrito Federal and Veracruz. One funny fact about one State of this country, is about the State called ‘Queretaro’, this word was elected as the most beautiful word of the Spanish language.
Celebrations and Traditions
Mexico is a country full of culture, history and extraordinary traditions that attract millions of tourist from all over the world every year. Each State in Mexico has his own traditions and celebrations, but we share in the whole country some of them. The traditions in Mexico have been present for a lot of years, some of them since the Azteca Empire; Some of the National Traditions the people in Mexico celebrate are:
On the 16th of September of 1810, the most important heroes of Mexico started the battle for the Independence of Mexico, each year we remember and celebrate our liberty with all our families and friends, it does not matter in which part of the world we are, we will always celebrate the pride of being Mexicans. On this day we prepare the most Mexican dishes that exist, if you are a fan of the Mexican cuisine, you will enjoy this day a lot. Click here if you want more information about this celebration.
On the 1st and 2nd of November, we have a spectacular tradition called ‘Día de Muertos’, and we celebrate the return of one night of the people that died. This Mexican tradition has been declared by the UNESCO as ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.’ We prepare an altar, special bread, we go to the cemetery and we write ‘Calaveritas Literarias’. This day for all the Mexicans is not a sad day, it is a kind of party to celebrate the ones that are not here anymore.
Between December 16th and December 24th of each year, in Mexico there are some parties before the Christmas celebration. In total we have 9 ‘posadas’, they start on the night of December 16th and they finish on the night of December 24th. During these days it is really common that in each neighborhood of the cities, friends and families select which will be the houses in charge of the organization of las ‘Posadas.
Origin of Las Posadas
This tradition is of a religious origin, because the actions of asking for ‘Posada’ is a representation of the situation when Joseph and Mary were looking for a shelter in Belen. The tradition consists first of walking and singing in the streets, finally when you arrive to the chosen house you start to ask for ‘Posada’ (it is a classic song-text). When they finally open the doors of their house, the party starts. The houses are full of color and with a lot of decorations. There is food, dance and something typical of these days is to break the ‘Piñata’, the traditional ‘Piñata’ on this celebrations is like a ball with 7 peaks, each peak represents one capital sin, the children and adult people make long lines to hit the ‘Piñata’ (they need to break it) and to win candies and fruit that are flying when someone hits the ‘Piñata’. At the end of each ‘Posada’ you drink a typical beverage called ‘ponche’ and each person invited to this celebration receives something called ‘aguinaldo’, this is a bag full of candies and fruit. With no doubt this is one of the traditions you miss the most when living abroad.
The 6th of January is the happiest day of the year for all the Mexican children, but why? the tradition consists of the following: on the 5th of January, millions of children make a letter for the ‘Reyes Magos’ (Magician Kings): Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar), where they write basically what gifts they want to receive on the next day, the normal thing here is that every child write maximum 3 gifts, one gift from each king, but there are a lot of children that take advantage of the situation and they ask for 1000 gifts. After writing that letter millions of children will be sending that letter to the sky with help of a balloon full of helio. On the night of the 5th of January, each kid needs to place one of their shoes in the living room, kitchen or wherever they want in the house. Finally in the morning of January 6th, when all the Mexican children wake up they find all the gifts given by the ‘Reyes Magos’. Funny fact: if the child was really naughty during the year, it is really possible that the gift that he will receive from the ‘Reyes Magos’ is a piece of bread or a piece of coal.
As in every country in the whole world, on December 25th the Mexican people celebrate the birth of Jesus (the majority of the Mexican population is catholic), in each house or church you will find something called ‘Nacimiento’ (literal translation is birth). This is a representation in miniature of the birth of Jesus, the families will put some small figures of people and animals, the creativity of some ‘Nacimientos’ is incredible. Also we prepare a huge dinner on December 24th and the celebration lasts until the first hours of December 25th. On that day it is very common to go to church. We give and receive gifts, we have a dinner and we celebrate with all our families and friends. We have some typical dishes on this day for example: Romeritos, Bacalao, Turkey: these dishes are not the only ones that we prepare, because in every family or in every State the customs might be different.
Tourism in Mexico
Mexico is one of the principal touristic destinations of the world, is one of the most common places for the Honey moons around the world. Mexico is known internationally because of its beaches in the West or East coast where you can discover aphrodisiac paradises, the most famous and popular beaches in Mexico are: Acapulco, Los Cabos, Tulum, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun. Mexico has the fortune to have an excellent weather 90% of the year, so you can plan your holidays to this country without worrying about this factor. Mexico was part of the Azteca, Olmeca, and Maya Empires, among others, and thanks to this we still have some archeological monuments of our ancestors, some of the most famous archeological places in Mexico are: Teotihuacán, Chichen Itzá, El Tajín, Monte Albán or the Templo Mayor. There are thousands of places to visit in this country,no matter to which state of Mexico you decide to go, you will be surprised with all the things you will find.
Mexican Culture and People
When you ask a foreigner ‘What are the first 3 things that come to your mind when you heard the word Mexico?’ it is really possible that he will answer: Tequila, Sombrero and Tacos. This is true, but those are not the only aspects that distinguish a Mexican. Mexican people are famous for working hard and for being party people. The base of the Mexican society is the family, the mothers are the most important members of the family for us and if you offend them, well, you might have a lot of problems for sure. Mexico is also famous in the world for the ‘Machismo’ but to be honest this does not exist anymore nowadays, possibly 100 years ago you could say that you are ‘macho’ but today women and men are treated as equal in the whole country. The Mexican is happy by nature, the same as all the other Latino people, we are really open :) we can meet some people and after just 4 hours they could be your best friend for the eternity, we can invite them to sleep to our house, invite them to have a dinner with his family, etc. If you are a foreigner you will perceive this immediately.
Something that identifies Mexico around the world is its food. You can find a Mexican restaurant in almost every place in the world. Mexico has hundreds of typical dishes that are delicious for almost all the people that taste them. It is true that the Mexican food is spicy, but we also have a lot of dishes that are sweet or ‘adapted’ to the taste of people that cannot eat spicy food. The typical dishes are prepared for the days like the Independence Day, etc., but in any other day of the year you can eat them in any restaurant in Mexico. Each State in Mexico has its own typical dishes, but we could say that the most popular dishes are the following: pozole, carnitas, barbacoa, chiles en nogada, enchiladas, tamales, mole, tacos, quesadillas, pambazos, birria, cochinita pibil, sopes, tlacoyos, tortas, chicharrón, tinga, etc.
The official coin in Mexico is the ‘Mexican Peso’, and its value is approximately: 12-13 pesos equal to 1 USD, and 17-18 pesos equal to 1 Euro. Mexico is a relatively cheap country, with only 30 or 40 pesos (2,3 Euros) you can get a complete meal in a ‘fonda’ (small restaurant), and end up being completely full.
This was a little introduction to this beautiful country – many Mexicans say ‘There is no places like Mexico’, and it is true. When you live in another country you miss everything in such a way it is impossible to describe, if you have not visited Mexico yet do not hesitate to do it, you will have the best time of your life.
And just to conclude, in my personal opinion:
Mexico is the best country in the world!