Feliz Navidad From Oaxaca, Mexico

‘Tis the season to celebrate, reflect and, of course, eat, drink and be merry. There is much to be thankful for as 2021 comes to and end, and the days lengthen. If we are fully vaccinated (meaning two jabs and the booster), we are told we can safely congregate with family and friends who are also fully vaccinated. We have lived to see the day.

Noche Buena, or Poinsettia, is native to Mexico

For the past week, in the Oaxaca village of Teotitlan del Valle, where I live, the Christmas posadas have been revived. The bands play, there is mucha comida (lots of food), mucha mezcal and cerveza. Villagers gather every evening from December 15 to 24 at around 8 p.m. to accompany the procession that takes Jesus and Mary from one host domicile to the next, until La Ultima Posada, Christmas Eve, when Baby Jesus is born at midnight.

Illuminated church at Teotitlan del Valle
A posada winds through cobblestone streets, led by music and firecrackers

Tradition here is that families gather at home for a midnight supper to welcome in their Savior. It’s likely my family who I will have supper with tonight may not be able to stay awake until midnight. I’m praying for a 9 p.m. dinner so I can get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour. Tradition gets adapted when necessary.

The village market was bustling today with locals picking up last minute gifts and decorations for home altars and creches. There were more campesinos than usual from the mountain villages more than an hour away. They were selling locally grown wildflowers, mosses, pine cones, orchids, and syrupy sweet stewed crabapples. This time of year features a sweet fruit punch flavored with cinnamon, apples, sugar which is similar to a mulled cider.

Wildflower vendor from the Sierra Juarez, Christmas Eve 2021

These are times to be with family and dear friends, when we can.

I wish you and yours a healthy new year, with deepest thanks and appreciation for continuing to read what I write and for your support of the artisans we feature here.

On behalf of all of. us at Oaxaca Cultural Navigator, Happy Holidays,

Norma

One of our spectacular sunsets here, only rivaled by Taos

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