Christmas Trees in Mexico: History and Traditions

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Celebrate the holidays with your friends and family at your favorite restaurants near Nashua! The decorations are up, and we’re in the holiday spirit here at El Tapatio.


Despite their German origins, Christmas trees are still common holiday decorations in Mexico. Let’s find out why.


It’s hard not to imagine Christmas trees when you think about Christmas. They are one of the most iconic Christmas images, even if they are a relatively new addition to the pantheon of Christmas traditions. The tradition started in Germany in the 16th century and spread to other parts of Europe. In 1846, the Illustrated London News published a sketch of Queen Victoria and her family standing around a Christmas tree, which cemented its popularity in England. In the early 20th century, German-American families in Pennsylvania popularized the tradition in the United States.


But how did this lead to Christmas trees in Mexican homes and restaurants near Nashua?


The French Intervention in Mexico

We know it seems like we aren’t getting any closer, but bear with us. For a brief time, France, under the leadership of Emperor Napoleon III, tried to establish a French client state in Mexico. This only lasted from December 1861 to June 1867 and is known as the French Intervention in Mexico. As part of his attempt to gain a French foothold in Mexico, Napoleon III sent Maximilian of Hapsburg to Mexico in 1864 and installed him as Emperor of the Second Mexican Empire. The Mexican Republic was having none of this, however, and executed Maximilian in 1867. Although he was emperor for a mere three years, that was long enough for him to introduce Christmas trees to wealthier Mexican families who spread the tradition. Within a few years, many homes incorporated Christmas trees into their decorations as replacements for or additions to their Nativity scenes.


Christmas Trees in Mexico Today

In recent years, Christmas trees have become even more popular in Mexico. Town centers often have large, elaborately decorated Christmas trees. They are very colorful and festive and can be either real or fake. Traditional ornaments are homemade from straw, tin, or clay and usually represent Biblical images or local iconography. Common ornaments include stars, angels, cacti, and parrots.

Mexico also holds some Christmas tree world records. In 2009, Mexico put up the world’s largest Christmas tree. The artificial tree was 110.35 meters (about 362 feet) and weighed 330 tons. In 2000, Mexican artist Sergio Rodriguez Villareal made a Christmas angel that was 5.57 meters (18.25 feet) tall out of 2,946 beer bottles.


Mexican Restaurants Near Nashua | El Tapatio

While our decor won’t be as staggering as a giant Christmas tree or an angel made of beer bottles, you can still get in the festive spirit at El Tapatio! Get your friends and family together and enjoy a meal with us this holiday season.

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