Photo by Suzanne Barbezat
Shout ¡Viva México!
Mexican Independence is celebrated on the night of September 15 and throughout the day on September 16. On the night of the 15th there are celebrations called "El Grito" (the shout or cry of independence) that take place in the plazas and main squares of cities throughout the country. In Oaxaca people gather in the Zocalo and at 11 pm the governor comes out on the balcony of the Palacio de Gobierno and leads the shout, to which the crowd responds enthusiastically "¡Viva!" after each of his cheers. Following the grito, there are fireworks, and people wave flags, and throw confetti in an enthusiastic display of patriotic feeling.
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Radish Night in Oaxaca
One of Oaxaca's most unusual celebrations takes place every year on December 23rd. "La Noche de Rábanos" (Night of the Radishes) is a special event in which local craftspeople create models of elaborate scenes using radishes. The tradition dates back to the 1800s when merchants in the Christmas market would set up extravagant displays in order to attract customers. It was formalized into a contest in 1897 and just kept growing from there. Besides radishes there are also displays of figures made with corn husk and dried flowers.
Spring Festivals in Oaxaca
Although weather changes associated with spring are less noticeable in Oaxaca than in other parts of the world, the coming of spring is still a greatly celebrated event. If you're in Oaxaca around the time of the spring equinox, you may come across groups of children dressed in bright colors and animal costumes. They may be parading down the city streets or performing a rehearsed choreography as a part of their yearly spring festival. I came across the group of children in this photo in the Oaxaca Zocalo on a warm 20th of March.
Portal del Palacio, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico