Mexico Gift Giving Customs

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Flag of Mexico.png

Capital: Mexico City

Languages: Spanish, Indigenous Amerindian languages

Currency: peso

Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant

National Holiday: Independence Day, September 16 (1810)

More Mexican Holidays

Mexico is a country that offers a wide variety of activities from world famous beaches to interesting historical sites, it is no wonder that the country is such a popular tourist destination. Mexico is a country that is rich in traditions and if you will be traveling to Mexico it’s always wise to research the culture and holiday traditions, such as the use of luminarias as outdoor decorations. If your trip will include opportunities to exchange gifts then here are a few tips about giving gifts in Mexico:

Personal Gift Giving Etiquette

  • Gift giving in Mexico symbolizes affection and appreciation and not giving gifts on some occasions may be received as a deliberate discourteous act.
  • When invited into a home, the Mexican gift giving etiquette is to bring a gift. Flowers are the best gift; gift alternatives are wine, gourmet candies or cakes, or a small gift from your home country.
  • If giving a gift of flowers, white flowers are a good gift, as they are considered uplifting.
  • If invited to into a home if the family has children it is thoughtful to bring them a small gift such as: toys associated with your home country, computer software or electronics that cannot be purchased within Mexico, or sports team apparel from your home country.
  • There are no particular rules in regards to gift wrapping.

Mexican Birthday Traditions

  • A birthday custom in Mexico for children is to have a piñata at their celebration. The piñata is filled with candy and small toys, then it is hung from the ceiling or a tree. The birthday child is blindfolded, then they will hit the piñata with a stick until it breaks open, so that all the treats come out falling out. The birthday child will share their treats with their party guests.
  • Celebrated throughout Latin America and Latino communities in the United States, the Quinceanera is celebrated by young women on their 15th Birthday this celebration is an important rite of passage which represents the transition from girlhood to womanhood. The celebration includes a mass, and is usually followed by a party.

Gifts to Avoid

  • Yellow flowers, as they symbolize death.
  • Red flowers, as they carry negative connotations and are believed to cast spells.
  • Purple flowers, as they are associated with funerals.
  • Tourist items from attractions in Mexico.
  • Silver, Mexicans take pride in their silver products as they are one of the worlds top producers and exporters of silver.

Business Gift Giving Guidelines

  • Business gift giving in Mexico is not usually required, but it is appreciated and viewed as a gesture of good will.
  • A suitable gift for an initial visit is a gift with your company's logo, and for following visits a bottle of wine or scotch.
  • Traditionally expensive gifts are not appropriate unless you have established a close friendship.
  • Female executive assistants or secretaries appreciate receiving a small thoughtful gift such as a souvenir from your home country, or a scarf or perfume. Gifts should be given if they have assisted you with travel arrangements or helped on a project. Remember that expensive gifts are never appropriate and businessmen should say that the gifts were sent by their wife to avoid the impression of impropriety.


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