9 Most Celebrated Holiday Traditions in El Paso
9 Most Celebrated Holiday Traditions in El Paso

A Christmas Fair
This annual shopping gift market has officially kicked off the holiday season in El Paso for over 40 years. Recognized as an El Paso tradition, the fair is staggered with over 200 merchants and features special events throughout the weekend.

Downtown El Paso comes to life every November with lights, food, holiday shopping, festivities and the coolest thing of all, an outdoor ice skating rink. The festival runs till January.

Many El Pasoans will attest that one of their favorite holiday memories growing up was making tamales. Family and friends gather around to take on the day long task that deliciously pays off in the end. Fortunately for those with limited time (or patience), El Paso is home to numerous locally owned hot spots that sell them by the dozen.

The holiday season kicks off with hundreds of glowing brown sacks known as Luminarias. These traditional Christmas lanterns date back 300 years and adorn El Paso’s churches, homes, and streets. To experience the beauty of luminarias we recommend a drive thorough the historic mission trail or Scenic Dr., neither will disappoint.

From Dec. 16-24 it is custom to hold a posada party every evening. These nine days of posadas leading up to Christmas Eve are marked by traditional rituals and filled with food, tamales, piñatas, and joyful socializing. Experience what an authentic posada has to offer by taking advantage of the many public gathering held throughout the city.

Rosca de Reyes
Also known as king’s cake, the rosca is a wreath shaped Mexican bread decorated with slices of candied fruit and hides a figurine of a baby baked inside. But beware, the one who has the figurine in their slice plays host to a party on Feb. 2nd! Locally owned Bowie Bakery is a sure win for some of the best Roscas in town.

Celebration of Lights Tree Lighting Ceremony
Known as one of El Paso’s most celebrated holiday traditions, the tree lighting ceremony and parade have been part of El Paso’s history for over 100 years. Every year San Jacinto Plaza comes alive with over 400,000 lights and more than 100 trees. Fun for the whole family, the ceremony and parade are defiantly must-see events!

Misa del Gallo
Interrupted by the ringing of bells and celebrated around midnight each Christmas Eve, Misa del Gallo or Mass of the Rooster is widely celebrated throughout the city. This famous mass is one of the most delightful traditions embraced by dozens of local churches. With so many historic churches in the area, finding a church to experience Misa del Gallo won’t be a challenge at all.

Hyundai Sun Bowl Game
Since the first Sun Bowl played in 1935, this popular game has grown into one of El Paso’s top national attractions. Known as the second oldest bowl game, the Sun Bowl is a long standing and highly anticipated event. Visitors are also invited to take advantage of the Fan Fiesta, a family friendly event featuring bands, dance groups, face painting, mascots and more.

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