La Noche de Rábanos or The Night of the Radish

La Noche de Rábanos

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These radishes aren’t for eating

they are mammoth, gnarly roots that are carved into elaborate sculptures depicting everything from the Virgin de Guadalupe to gazebos, whimsical grasshoppers and entire village scenes.

Welcome to Oaxaca, Mexico!

 

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The zocolo in the center of town is always a hub of activity but on December 23rd barricades go up and the square is closed off until early evening when La Noche de Ràbanos begins.

 Thousands throng past the displays, judges judge, and a grand prize of $13,000 pesos (~ $1,300USD) is at stake.

tents in zocolo

Let’s go behind the scenes to El Tequio Park near the airport where these monster radishes are grown. Starting on the 18th December the harvest begins and truckloads are delivered to the artisans who will work their magic….

On the morning of the 21st the kids arrive armed with shovels and trowels

and then in the afternoon they all gather to carve and sculpture their own masterpieces under the watchful eyes of parents and teachers.

Courtyard

Plastic knives don’t work too well

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So the real sharp ones come out in all shapes and sizes

There’s not a scrape or cut or drop of blood anywhere to be found and there is deep, deep concentration

Some of these carvings are as good as you see in the Zocolo …on The Night of the Radish

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