By Robin E. Mason
CHRISTMAS AROUND the WORLD – MEXICO
I don’t know about you but I tend to associate the piñata with birthdays. Although, it is rather the epitome of Mexican celebration, to this non-Mexican anyway. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that the piñata is very much a part of traditional Christmas in Mexico. “From December 16 to 24 there are a series of processions and parties called Las Posadas (from the word for inn) , for many children the most anticipated part of the Christmas season. The tradition was begun by Spanish evangelists to teach the Christmas story to the indigenous people.” [source: Wikipedia]
Of course, Nativity scenes are universal displays of, well, the birth of Christ. In Mexico, they are “generally set up by December 12 and left on display at least until February 2 and found in homes, businesses and churches. They were introduced in the early colonial period with the first Mexican monks teaching the indigenous people to carve the figures. The basic set up is similar to those in other parts of the world, with a focus on the Holy Family.” [source: Wikipedia]
In Oaxaca, Joseph and Mary are dressed in traditional Oaxacan costume.
I am fascinated by this image of Niño Dios, the Child Jesus, dressed in Tzotzil costume, but can’t find information about the tradition—except in Spanish. (and my Spanish isn’t strong enough, nor is my brain on point enough, to glean the meaning.)
The Nativity aside, what could be more iconic to Christmas than the Christmas tree. (forgive, I am not making the case pro or con, just sharing what is standard, and part of traditional Mexican celebration.)
This treat the Universum Museum en Mexico City is decorated with polyhedrons.
Not only is the poinsettia another Christmas icon, but it is native to Mexico. One “modern Mexican legend says that the pointsettia was once a weed that miraculously turned into a beautiful flower so that a child could present it to the infant Jesus.” [source: Wikipedia]
A significant part of the extended Christmas holiday, is “Epiphany, called Día de lost Tres Reyes Magos (Three Kings’ Day). This day celebrates whtn the Three Wise Men arrived to visit the Child Jesus (Niño Dios) bearing gifts. On the night of January 5, children traditionally leave a shoe by the doorway where the Wise Men will enter, although this is not done in all parts of Mexico. … In the morning after opening the presents, a round sweet bread called a rosca is served.
Like in any part of the world, there is so much more, different traditions in various regions, and like pretty much any post I write it could very easily turn into a much longer article. I leave you with one final pretty decoration.
And one final thought…
This is a bittersweet post for me to write; it is my last post as a regular contributor here at Writing Prompts Crew. I have valued the time spent here, and cherish the friendships I have made. As my own blog and writing career have grown, I must, sadly, pare back other commitments.
Fear not, though, I’ll hover around, and make my usual snarky commentary, and the occasional post as a guest. I thank all the crew and every follower for coming into my life. You have enriched me in ways words cannot express.
And so, in my beloved Irish, I bid you…
… a fond farewell, not good-bye, but see you soon. And because my new series is a family entrenched in French ancestry,
WRITING PROMPT—Tío Miguel and Tía Maria are visiting from Mexico for the holidays. We haven’t seen them since we were little. We are teaching them American traditions, and they are sharing their Mexican ones. All is going beautifully, til Tío Miguel discovers the eggnog—and somebody has spiked it. As he hangs the luminaries in place of the piñatas, somebody outside starts hollering.
Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas, Christmas Around the World, Christmas in Mexico, Luminaries, Piñatas, Nacimiento, Poinsettia, FELIZ NAVIDAD, and Slán