Noche de Los Rábanos – Oaxaca’s Night of the Radishes

 mariachis

mariachis

When we booked several nights’ accommodation in Oaxaca, Mexico for the Christmas period we were blissfully unaware that our arrival day, 23 December is one of the city’s biggest nights – the Noche de los Rábanos or Night of the Radishes. Every year on the night of 23 December displays of intricately carved giant radishes are displayed in the Zocalo (Central Plaza).

 frida kahlo's image is everywhere in mexico

frida kahlo's image is everywhere in mexico

We arrived in Oaxaca in the morning so were able to check out the preparations.

 preparing for the big night

preparing for the big night

A specially erected walkway provides excellent viewing to the displays.

There are a number of other categories apart from the radishes (rabanos) including corn husks (totomoxtle) and dried flowers.

 dried flower arrangement

dried flower arrangement

After checking out the preparations we spent some time during the day exploring the city.

Before returning to the Zocalo around 4.30pm to see the finished displays. Already the queue to the viewing area was long. We waited over an hour to get to the viewing walkway.

 the queue

the queue

By the time we reached the entrance the queue was nearly a kilometre long. Scores of police were needed to manage the crowds, such is the enthusiasm for giant carved radish displays in Oaxaca on 23 December.

 let the viewing commence

let the viewing commence

Rather than try and describe what we saw we’ll let the radishes speak for themselves.

  virgin of guadalupe

 virgin of guadalupe

 the crucifiction

the crucifiction

 the radishes are regularly sprayed with water to keep them looking fresh

the radishes are regularly sprayed with water to keep them looking fresh

This next gallery features displays made from corn husks, dried flowers and other media. All show amazing workmanship.

 dig the crazy lettuce skirts

dig the crazy lettuce skirts

 noah's ark

noah's ark

When we reached the end we adjourned to the terrace of a nearby restaurant with a fabulous window table overlooking the radishy festivities.

 the view from our restaurant table

the view from our restaurant table

It was a hoot.

Ken and Cally

 the baby jesus in radish form

the baby jesus in radish form