The bird is the word: Mexican pavo, guajolote, totole in the oven

Once again, the time to talk turkey has arrived, and in Mexico this can inspire quite a bit of talk indeed. Over thirty words for the bird have been used at one time or another in various parts of the country, twenty-one of which were still in use when Dr. Lawrence B. Kiddle wrote “The Names […]

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Did You Know? – Nochebuena / Poinsettia

Nochebuena, the Mexican name of the flower English-speakers call poinsettia, was discovered in Taxco and the valleys surrounding Cuernavaca. Known by the Aztecs in their native Nahuatl language as cuetlaxochitl, it is believed that they brought the plant from the tropical climate of Cuernavaca to their Aztec highlands for cultivation in special nurseries. Prized in […]

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Christmas holidays in Mexico: Festivals of light, love and peace

Chanukah, one of the celebrations of light during the time of Winter Solstice begins at sunset on December 3 this year. Each evening, families light candles to remember the triumph of the Maccabees who regained control of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and the great miracle which happened there, when the remaining supply of consecrated […]

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Christmas tree in Guadalajara's Palacio Municipal © Daniel Wheeler, 2010

Mexican Christmas menu ideas: Posadas, Noche Buena, Navidad

In Mexico, the Christmas season is a month-long fiesta, starting with the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe on December 12th, and continuing through the posadas, Noche Buena and Navidad, right up to the Three Kings Day on January 6th. During this celebratory month, preparing seasonal dishes is an important part of the festivities, with […]

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Nacimiento de cera, molded wax combined with fabric, author unknown, Salamanca, Guanajuato, date unknown © Anthony Wright, 2012

Mexico’s Christmas traditions: Posadas, pastorelas and nacimientos

Decorated evergreen trees, garlands of greens and ivy, yule logs, shiny glass balls, seasonal music, twinkling lights, special family meals, shimmering stars, brilliantly red poinsettias, silvery ribbons, mounds of presents, and Santa Claus are the vibrant heralds of the Christmas season in the United States and Canada. Few North Americans recognize that the roots of […]

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Escena de peregrinos en busca de posada, clay and polychrome figurine, author unknown, Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, 2002 © Anthony Wright, 2012

Mexican tradition: Pidiendo Posada, the words to the song

When reenacting Mary and Joseph’s quest for shelter in Bethlehem, participants in the traditional Posada processions stop to sing a litany at several designated homes. The verses alternate one by one between those seeking lodging outside and those responding from behind the door. The lyrics are as follows: Español English Outside Singers Inside Response Outside […]

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