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On one night only in Oaxaca, Mexico, the raphanus sativus, or radish as it is more commonly known, escapes it's destiny as root vegetable side dish and becomes art. On December 23rd of every year since 1897, thousands upon thousands of radish revelers turn out to check out the newest vegetable- turned- art creations on display in the zocalo. The artists only have a few days to complete their short-lived masterpieces, working frantically to carve figurines impressive enough to land them the $1300 US cash prize. Noche de los Rabanos/Night of the Radishes is a fun and quirky event to get you into the Oaxacan Christmas spirit. If seeing the baby Jesus carved out of a radish doesn’t kindle your Yuletide fire, then nothing will.May 2, 2012 Like Add a Comment
If you could take just one photo: Oaxaca
We hear the gunshot sounds of fireworks. Another street parade has begun. The sounds of drumming and horns reach our ears before the sight of the procession. Around the corner washes the tide of an approaching Dia de los Muertos group. Kids. Teens. Adults. Hearts pounding with the beat, we can't help but be caught up in the pagan revelry in the heart of an obviously religious culture. Following the dancing kids carrying giant paper mache characters, we convene on the zocalo (central square). Ringing the zocalo are altars set up to lure passed ancestors back to celebrate with the living. The scent of marigolds has laced the town, now ever present in the offerings to the dead. Tortillas, sweets, cigarettes, liquor, and pictures adorn each altar. As we make our way around the square, a well lined face smiles and offers me a shot of mezcal in a wooden cup. The language barrier becomes non-existent as the warmth hits my stomach. Ahh Oaxaca.March 7, 2009 Like Add a Comment
Oaxaca is bouncing back after the riots it suffered a few years ago and the local artists are welcoming tourists back with open arms—and some serious bargains. The region is home to Mexico's most diverse mix of indigenous groups, at least 16, including the Zapotecs and Mixtecs. The local crafts certainly reflect the rich cultural history of the region (as does the food!). Many visitors can't resist collecting the colorful little alebrijes and hand-carved and fantastically painted sculptures of people, animals, and, best of all, mythological hybrids. Highly-skilled Zapotec potters from nearby Coyotepec produce shiny black clay pottery with intricate designs cut into it—not to mention embroidery, jewelry, hand-made traditional sandals or huarachas, and Zapotec hand-woven palm fiber baskets.March 10, 2008 Like Add a Comment