Mexican food is an integral part of Mexican holidays and celebrations, adding to the color and vibrancy of the occasion. One holiday that most people have heard of is Day of the Dead, which is when families gather together to remember their loved ones who have died. Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 1 and 2.
The traditions followed on this holiday include building altars to honor the dead and visiting their graves with gifts of the deceased’s favorite foods and drinks.
Cinco de Mayo is another famous holiday in Mexico. This is a regional holiday and especially close to the hearts of Mexicans living in Puebla because, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican victory over the French in 1862, at the Battle of Puebla.
Many people assume that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day but this is wrong because their Independence Day is September 16. Independence Day is perhaps the most important Mexican national holiday of all.
The Great Taste of Mexican Holiday Foods
Mexicans are very proud of their culinary heritage, which blends Mayan, Aztec, traditional Mexican, Spanish, French and Caribbean influences and more. Some Mexican holidays have special foods associated with them but with others, like Cinco de Mayo, people just make their favorite dishes to enjoy.
It is common for the women to get together and make lots of food for the festivities. Tamales are associated with Mexican festivals because they are time consuming to make. This is why tamales are usually only made several times a year in big batches. You will see steamed tamales at Mexican celebrations.
Mexican wedding cookies and Mexican wedding cakes are popular at many holidays, not just weddings like the name implies. Rosca de Reyes is a festive bread made for January 6. The bread, which is shaped like a wreath, contains cherries, candied figs, mango, and lemon and contains a baby Jesus figurine. The person who gets the figurine in their slice has to make the food for Candlemas, which is on February 2.
Delicious Mexican Drinks for Special Occasions
Mexicans do enjoy Mexican beer and tequila but that is certainly not all. Rompope is a drink a bit like eggnog flavored with rum, cinnamon, and almonds. This thick, frothy confection is often enjoyed on Mexican holidays.
Another thick, luxurious drink is atole, which can be, drank with breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It contains fruit slices, cinnamon and brown sugar.
Many people are sadly unaware of what authentic Mexican recipes entail, partly because of the popularity of Mexican fast food and partly because not many people outside of Mexico really grasp what this exciting cuisine is all about. You do not have to wait for a Mexican holiday to try making some delicious Mexican inspired dishes!