Christmas is one of the most important dates of the year, and although the way to celebrate during this season is very similar throughout the world, there are areas that do it differently.
In Mexico, states like Oaxaca, Michoacán, Estado de México, Veracruz and Yucatán, have very peculiar celebrations, so we will tell you a little about the way in which the traditions linked to Christmas are lived in these regions.
Edomex and the Pastorelas of Tepotzotlán
The shepherds of Tepotzotlán are part of a tradition that has moreover 50 years; These theatrical performances stand out due to their mixture of Christmas elements with Mexican festivals and indigenous culture.
In addition, during the holiday season, the shepherds that usually take place in the former Jesuit College of this magical town, in which renowned actors and locals participate, is one of the most important tourist attractions for this region.
- It should be noted that the shepherds of Tepotzotlán are a tradition that gives something to talk about nationally and internationally.
Oaxaca and its Night of Radishes
Each December 23 is unique in the state of Oaxaca since it is the date on which the typical Night of Radishes takes place, one of the typical celebrations prior to Christmas Eve and Christmas, which has also transcended nationally.
This celebration, held every year at the Christmas Market in the city of Oaxaca, is a contest in which participants create carved figures or scenes using radishes and some other plants, which will be evaluated in different categories.
It is said that this festival arose in colonial times, as a method of sale for farmers to attract the attention of potential buyers; however, it was until 1897 that it was declared as a formal contest.
- Today, the Night of Radishes is a great popular and tourist attraction during the Christmas season.
La Rama or Ramada, Christmas tradition in Veracruz and Yucatán
L a Rama or Ramada is a Mexican Christmas tradition that originates from Christmas carols, which is carried out by children and consists of decorating a box with the image of the Virgin Mary or the Child God, as well as a branch of sand or lemon tree, balloons, and Christmas motifs. Something very similar to a Christmas tree.
This family festivity takes place from December 16 to 14, days in which already with their “traveling altars”, they walk through the streets while chanting Christmas songs and asking for Christmas gifts, until they reach the house of a host, something very similar to the inns.
- It should be noted that in Yucatán, the Ramada starts before the first day of the posadas.
Currently, Veracruz is the entity where its celebration of the Christmas season is most rooted, where it is celebrated to the rhythm of the son jarocho and fandangos. In addition, its pre-Hispanic origin stands out, when it was made with a dry branch of huizache, a Mexican tree whose name in Nahuatl means “ smells like honey ”, and which was painted white and adorned with chains, hay, garlands, candles, and a hummingbird.
- However, this tradition is also practiced in states such as Oaxaca, Tabasco, Campeche, and Quintana Roo.
Michoacán and its fusion of beliefs at Christmas
The state of Michoacán is one of the regions in the country that, after the Spanish conquest, created a mixture of Iberian beliefs and Purépecha customs that stand out for the celebration of Christmas.
Throughout the state, the traditions of the indigenous people are preserved with details such as the incorporation of crafts to the births, among others figures carved in wood or made with corn leaves are observed.
In the representation of the birth of the child Jesus, which is installed in houses or in courtyards and churches, figures such as metates, clay pots, and even copper pots are also placed. The Virgin Mary carries overflow; San José, a coat, and the shepherds wear huaraches and Huetamo hats, but indigenous people also join the scene, grinding in a metate.
- On the other hand, in Tarímbaro the festival of Takari takes place, which consists of performing dances through the streets of the town while collecting hay to make the bed of the Child God.
- Also, in Uruapan the festival known as Uarokua takes place, in which the moment in which the umbilical cord of the Child God is cut is represented.
In addition, the appointment of positions among the inhabitants of towns and communities is common, so that they have the responsibility of maintaining the indigenous Christmas traditions and who are called Huanánchas.
Others are entrusted with the task of maintaining the tradition of the traditional dances of the Christmas season: in San Juan Nuevo they are called Kúrpites; in Ihuatzio, Huapanas, in Quiroga, Turichas.
Another aspect is that the corundas, the nacatamales, the atole, the ponteduro are some of the foods that are prepared for the night and for Christmas.