With Thanksgiving now put to bed, it’s time to concentrate on the next big holiday: Christmas.
As in the United States, Mexico likes to prepare early for the festive season. Trees and decorations often go up in homes, shopping malls and public spaces before December has even started. Likewise, Christmas markets are keen to get a heads up and many are and running during the final fortnight of November.
Guadalajara boasts three substantial ferias navideñas (Christmas markets), plus a number of smaller ones. Two are already in full flow.
The Jardín del Refugio is the biggest of the three, boasting 250 vendors in the small plaza at the corner of Calzada Federalismo and Joaquin Angulo. For years, this market used to thrive in the Jardín de San José on Avenida Alcalde but continuing work on the city’s third Tren Ligero (subway) line has forced the move.
Buyers will encounter real and artificial trees, all the usual nacimiento (nativity scene) characters, lights, baubles, tinsel, blow-up Santas, greeting cards, wrapping paper, etcetera.
The Parque Morelos, on Calzada Independencia at Juan Manuel, offers similar merchandize. It’s in the same place as late October/early November’s Day of the Dead market, so some vendors simply switch from selling chocolate candy skulls to nativity scenes. Like the Jardín del Refugio, it will run through December 24.
The third large Guadalajara market is located in the Explanada 18 de Marzo on Javier Mina at Sebastian Allende, on the east side of the city. This sprawling tianguis opens on December 1.
Other smaller markets are located in the Santa Teresita barrio, at Alfredo Carrazco and Manuel Acuña, and in Colonia Las Aguilas, on Lopez Mateos, three blocks from Avenida Patria, in front of the Zapopan municipal complex.