La Noche de Rábanos or The Night of the Radish

La Noche de Rábanos


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!



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.


Plastic knives don’t work too well


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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6 Responses to La Noche de Rábanos or The Night of the Radish

  1. Barbara Obrien says:

    Vanda, Very interesting piece and all new to me. Are the radishes good enough to eat? Glad to hear from you. It’s been many months and we have been wondering where you are. Now we know. A bit of bad news…Las Brasas has had a temporarily closed sign on the front door for several months. boo! Hoo! We’ll have to find another good taquieria. Are you staying for an extended unpredictable time? Love, Barbara

    • Vanda says:

      Ah Barbara, no, I don’t think you can eat these particular radishes as they’ve been cultivated specifically for carving. Yes I am here in town for the time being so we need to get together – Pico de Gallo on 6th and 36th is a great alternative to Las Brasas……..

  2. Landis Kearnon says:

    Thanks, Vanda, for going down there and getting these wonderful pictures and for sharing them with us. It’s so delightful, especially, to see the children at work.

  3. Nancy Evans says:

    thanks, this made me smile for the Christmas eve. Much love to you, Nancy

    • Danilo says:

      Wait, I cannot fathom it being so sratihgtforward.

      • Vanda says:

        Hi Danilo, There is, of course, much that goes on behind the scenes to get this wonderful and unusual event off the ground but I was only privy to a small part of it. I loved hanging out with the kids as they dug the radishes and carved them…….

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