Noche De Los Rábanos, Mexico: Celebrating Creativity And Togetherness
Festivals are the time to celebrate and enlighten joyous moments for any culture or country. An insight on the festivals of a country depicts the values and sentiments of the citizens. One such typical, the memorable and unique festival is celebrated in Mexico, known as Noche de Los Rábanos.
Celebrated each year in Colonial Oaxaca city since 1897, this festival is also known as “Night of Radishes”. Unique and different as its name, this quirky celebration reflects the reason of why this festival is so famous around the world. Inspired by the historical values and Mexican art, Noche de Los Rábanos celebrates creativity from food, i.e. Radishes. Thousands of Mexican citizens and foreigners visit the picturesque city of Oaxaca on December 23 and participate to exhibit their artisan skills. Laid with excitement and happiness, the locals and tourists, converge at Zócalo on the afternoon of 23rd December, sharing and appreciating Mexican creativity.
Originally, the festival took place as a marketing gimmick by the radish farmers, who wanted to generate sales for their overabundance harvest of radishes. They decided to organize an art workshop and exhibit fanciful shapes out of their excess crop. The gimmick immediately worked, and people bought these radishes for decoration as centerpieces. The event scenario looks spectacular as thousands of artisans construct intricate art scenes and strange shapes out of large red radishes. Large radishes weighing up to 3 kg and length up to 50 cm are especially grown at El Tequio Park for this festival event. The best creation gets awarded and then featured in the local newspaper.
The festival of ‘Night of Radishes’ brings massive crowds, artisans and spectators to Oaxaca, who participate in the gala event. The party and festive mood, runs throughout the day at the main plaza and city centre. Long work tables and display racks exhibit the work of the participants. Finest professionals, students and even kids participate in the event using their imagination, creativity and ideas to craft tiny scenes, sculptures shapes, humor pieces and themes out of radishes. A participant can select from different categories, and gets a fair chance to win a cash prize.
The most fascinating and award winning creations includes, Totomoxtle (Corn husk shaped), Flor immortal (dried flower art), events like Day of Dead and Guelaguetza. Participants also highlight the spectator’s attention towards dancing events of Mexico, such as Feather dance (Danza de la Pluma), Pineapple Harvest dance and the famous Costa Chica Chilena dance. Flowery phrases and immortal tapestries depict prominent religious figures, history, legends and culture of Mexico. It might amaze the viewers that all the figures can be constructed using radishes, corn husks and dead flowers. Once the judges have acknowledged all the entries, they declare the winners at 9 p.m. The festive atmosphere continues till midnight as the music, illumination, fireworks on the Cathedral, and food carts selling buñuelos, and esquites keep the spectators and participants pulled into the main square. Locals and tourists enjoy and mingle in the festive atmosphere. Noche De Los Rábanos, Mexico is not just a festival but a reflection of true Mexican hospitality, creativity, acceptance, generosity and friendship.