Sometimes it's not enough to know what things mean,
sometimes you have to know what things don't mean.
sometimes you have to know what things don't mean.
Santuario de Guadalupe. Decorated for the holidays.
I am fully aware I should have known better than to think all of Mexico is the same but somehow, I did. Because it is a foreign country I suppose, I did not expect to see new things after visiting it for five years, or, on the opposite side of the spectrum, no longer finding the things I had become accustomed to.
I thought of the country as a whole, rather than the sum of its diverse parts. Why should it be different than the US? There, each state has something unique and different to offer, some states you associate with more than others. Same applies here.
Piñata with seven points representing the seven deadly sins.
They are everywhere during this time of year;
gas stations, churches, stores, etc.
Making of smaller piñatas. They started in China but the tradition of
blindfolding the person hitting them began here.
First day the frame is made of newspaper and hung to dry.
Second day color papers and ribbons are added.
Many today are effigies of hated characters ex: Trump nowadays.
Delivery scooter. We have even seen one
fitted with a wheelchair for the driver!
We have since found out that many handicapped people drive these.
Great way to earn an income.
Cutest one-person electric police car ever.
They also use 3-wheel electric Segways.
Super tight parking - driver must come out the passenger side.
The notch on the right side is a stairway to someone’s front door.
|Old roofing tile from Marseilles|
The iguanas are larger, the birds more numerous since they have the protection of the jungle and we have seen several skunks, something we hadn’t smelled since leaving the US. We are told there are many pink flamingos in a nearby protected area and we will visit them soon.
We arrived just a few days before Christmas, wanting to be situated somewhere before the holiday traffic would clog up the road. As it turns out we planned well for many gas stations ran out of gas or had very long lines of cars (upwards of 100 cars) waiting to be filled. We thankfully missed all that by arriving on the 21st.
The three wise men (the one with the black beard is a woman).
So much bling the picture didn't turn out too clear…
There are the usual celebrations we encounter anywhere else around this time of the year. Santa (although he is seen as the imported custom), snowmen, nativity scenes, decorated trees, poinsettias (they are from here after all and are called Noche Buena [good night]), garlands, fireworks, bad music, presents under the tree, rich food, etc. What is a little different is the emphasis put on the three wise men, Melchor, Gaspar, Balthazar (or variations of these names) on January 6th, when kids received their presents, rather than on Christmas day. That day is called Dia de Los Reyes or Epiphany.
Everyone is impressed by the Super Rosca de Reyes. Photographer for the newspaper!
This represents just one block's worth!
Two million sold… and counting
The wreath shape symbolizes a crown (King Herod’s) from whom Mary and Joseph were trying to hide the infant Jesus. Another interpretation is that the circle represents god’s eternal love. The dried fruits on top are jewels of the crown. Hiding a figurine of Jesus inside the bread is part of the symbolism of hiding from persecution or of Jesus in the womb. The person(s) who find the figurine(s) must sponsor the “blessing of the candle party” (Día de la Candelaria or Candlemas) on February 2nd, also Groundhog Day in the US and the midpoint between solstice and equinox. Tamales are an important part of that day’s meals.
Nativity scenes are usually erected on December 12th and stay out until February 2nd, a much longer period than what we are used to. Some of them are so large and intricate they take up much of the house. We have seen homes with three decorated trees over these nativity scenes. From December 3rd through the 12th, they celebrate the Virgin de Guadalupe. In all Mexicans celebrate for nearly 2 months! December 28th, is their version of April Fool’s Day. Another odd event happens on December 23rd in Oaxaca. It is called the Night of the Radishes (La Noche de los Rabanos) when oversized radishes are carved into elaborate figures, originally these were for nativity scenes but today there is a major competition in which vegetables are carved in all kinds of figures.
Clowns and wise men are milling around to listen to kids. It is definitely kids’ time. Kids can speak or write to them asking for specific presents. The tradition is for the kids to leave a shoe, along with water and hay by the door for the three visiting wise men (sometimes called magician kings). The hay and water are for their animals. In exchange the wise men will leave presents for the kids.
The town has life-size sculptures everywhere.
The baker by Miguel Antonio Horn.
First stage of making Brazo de la Reina tamales.
Using masa, chaya, lard, sometimes chicken stock for flavor, eggs,
and a bit of salt, wrapped in banana leaves.
Rolling the tamale in banana leaf
|Steaming the tamale and making the hot sauce|
Serve with hot sauce and pepita (spice).
Time for more exploration…
Hard to think of a white cold holiday when this is what is in our backyard