Few things represent Mexico's Christmas more than the traditional piñata. Read all about its history right here.
Christmas in Mexico is absolutely the most special time of the whole year. Even our daily municipal markets se visten de gala (dress up in their finest) for several weeks before the holidays. Out come locally-grown arbolitos de Navidad (Christmas trees), out come thousands of nochebuenas (poinsettias). Nativity sets, toys and more toys, just-for-Christmas candy, special Christmas-season fruit, and special foods of all kinds make their annual appearance on market shelves. Just a couple of weeks ago, Mexico Cooks! made a special trip to Morelia's Mercado Independencia (the largest retail market in town) to photograph some of the hundreds of goodies and treats available just this month.
What in the world do devils' pitchforks have to do with Christmas in Mexico! Learn all about our tradition of pastorelas (Christmas pageants--but with a twist) from this article on Mexico Cooks!.
This frilly apron, hand-embroidered with Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) is just the right size for a two- or three-year-old to wear on December 12, Mexico's other important December holiday. Traditional male and female clothing for the annual pilgrimages is available in every size, from newborn baby to adult.
The guacal (literally, wooden crate), in various sizes for children of various ages. Little boys dressed in the traditional indigenous shirt and pants of manta (rough unbleached cotton cloth) carry this crate on their backs, with its miniature clay dishes and tiny straw sombrero, on their pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
A flock of tiny chicks, each about half an inch high and made of clay, is ready to add to your nacimiento (manger scene). Every year, Mexico Cooks! is eager to add figures of one kind or another to ours.
Santa Claus is a relative newcomer to the Mexican Christmas scene. Traditionally, Mexican children have received their holiday gifts on January 6--El Día de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings' Day). The jolly elf is making cultural inroads, though, and some lucky boys and girls get a present from Santa and another one or two from the Three Kings.
Even Mexican oilcloth, that terrific table covering, joins in the spirit of Christmas. The roll that's front and center is decorated with nochebuenas (poinsettias). Did you know that the poinsettia is a native of Mexico?
These big-as-jack-o'lantern-heads calabazas (squash) are a delicious wintertime treat in Mexico.
Yet another piñata, this one about six feet from the top to the tip of the bottom point. The center container is a large clay pot--just imagine how much it would weigh when it's filled with candy, tangerines, and roasted peanuts!
Ribbons of every kind and color, with or without wire edges, is available by the meter at the Mercado Independencia. In fact, just about anything you could possibly want--from a pair of pliers to a pair of warm gloves, from a pet parrot to a chicken for your dinner table, is available at the market.
Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo--Merry Christmas and Happy New Year--to you and yours from us at Mexico Cooks!
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