Mexican Christmas Traditions, Food & Atole!

This write up was actually sent to the Multi Cultural Cooking Network by Dave , a MCCN fan at Facebook.  He lives and works in Mexico during parts of the year.  Here is his submission:

In Oaxaca, a festival is celebrated each December 23rd in the zocalo. Called Noche de Rabanos or Radish Night, local craftspeople carve elaborate scenes from radishes! As you can see above, their creations are fabulous!

Another Mexican tradition, called las posadas are reenactments of Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. In fact, posada means “inn” in Spanish. Posadas are held on each of the nine nights leading up to Christmas, from December 16 to 24th. They are usually candlelit processions to a different home each evening and participants sing a special song as Joseph asking for shelter. Children are often chosen to dress as Mary and Joseph or images are carried. Inside the home, the host family sings the part of the innkeeper saying there is no room. The verses trade back and forth until the host/innkeeper relents and lets the guests come inside where the party may be a large fiesta or just a small gathering of family and friends. Often there is a Bible reading of the Christmas story, tamales are served with a hot drink like atole and then the children break the piñata filled with candy and treats.

Click Here to See Atole Recipe