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Fiestas, toros, y boda: Christmas break in Mexico

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Christmas is one of the most wonderful festivities of the year, it is the time were families and friends come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

As every year during Christmas break, I travel to Mexico to visit my friends and family and spent time with them. This year, in particular, was  exciting to me, not only was my sister going to get married, but two of my good friends from Korea were coming with me, Lucy and Holly.

Two weeks of a break are not enough for a person to visit a country, especially, when there are other festivities to be celebrated, but I tried my best to show my friends the richness of Mexican  culture and cuisine.

The cuisine in Mexico is so flavorful, the food in some way reminds me of home, and I love it”

— Holly Yi

“I am not good at eating spicy food, but with Mexican food, I could not say no. It is really hard to pick my favorite food since I liked all of them, but I will say aguas frescas and tacos,” Lucy lee said. 

“The cuisine in Mexico is so flavorful, the food in some way reminds me of home, and I love it. The Mexican food sold in the United States cannot compare with the food in Mexico. If I have to pick only one type of food, I will choose gorditas,”  Holly Yi said.

Since I am from a small town, there are no malls, movie theaters, or any big stores, which probably sounds boring, but for me, Momax is a place full of traditions and customs. It is the place where I lived most of my life, and where I keep most of my best memories. My objectives for the trip was to show Lucy and Holly that technology is not needed to have fun in a town like that.

First day in Momax:

I decided to take Lucy and Holly for a walk, to get them familiar with the town, and with the money system. I showed them where the local stores were if they go out by themselves. In addition, that same day we took the “Combi” (a small bus that takes you to different towns) and went to the next bigger town, the place with the banks and the place where the traditional Mexican town festival was going to be held.


The town plaza in Momax, Mexico. Many events are held here and people gather to socialize.

Later that same day, we went to the “Posadas”, a famous Catholic tradition in Mexico.  First, we received tacos for free, then, we broke the piñatas. I encouraged Lucy and Holly to do it so they could be more involved in the party. It was really fun to see Lucy breaking the piñata even when the song was finished. I remember people saying,” ya ya, te vas a acabar la piñata,” which literally means “stop, you are going to finish the piñata.  “Save some for the children,” I said. Definitely one of the best memories.

As expected, we spent the next few days in the bigger town, Tlaltenago. I wanted to show them what people usually do at the Town Parties.

Every day at night, people walk around the square, or plaza, with music playing. Typically, there are a lot of people going in opposite directions, usually, if boys see a girl that they like, they buy flowers for her or just ask the girl for a walk.

It was fun to see how many people asked Holly and Lucy for a picture. They were really popular, people even tried to speak English with them. By the time I looked next to me, they were already gone. Lucy and Holly were in the back with a person that wanted to know more about them. No kidding, I needed to walk slower.

The people of Mexico are really friendly and easily approachable and welcoming. They have a lot of energy. They are hard working people. They wake up at 7:00 a.m., they work and have a big meal from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and they party until 5:00 p.m., and still wake up at 7:00 a.m. Holly Yi said. 

A passerby asks to have a photo with Lucy and Holly

December 24, Christmas Eve:

The traditional Christmas spirit fills my house.

Just like every year, my family gathers to celebrate Christmas together, with around 28 people in my house, not including cousins, aunts, or uncles. Before doing anything else, we prayed the rosary, then, my dad told my family and my friends the story of the birth of Jesus, reminding us that Christmas is not about gifts.

“Christmas is the party in which we glorify the upcoming of our savior Jesus Christ. Do not let anyone change that from yo,u” my dad said.

After the story and the explanation of the real meaning of Christmas, we sang the song of the “posadas” (a song about Mary and Joseph asking for a shelter to stay in).

Then, we broke the seven cones piñata, representing the seven vices. For the Christmas meal, we had tamales and ponche. Without leaving the buñuelos outside (unsalted tortillas with sugar on top). Lastly,  we played games and gave gifts to each other.

In Mexico, we do give gifts to the children on Christmas day, but baby Jesus is the one who brings them not Santa Claus.

“Although the concept of Christmas is similar everywhere. In Mexico it is different, they have tamales, pinatas, and not snow,” Holly said.

“Christmas in Mexico is different because in Korea we usually give gifts only to children but in Mexico families give gifts to everyone, including adults. They also have pinatas,” Lucy added. 

Holly, Fatima, and Lucy on Christmas Eve in Momax, Mexico

December 26, Lucy’s birthday:

Since I wanted Lucy to experience a birthday party in Mexico, we took her to a restaurant, and I ask the waitress for the traditional Mexican “Mañanitas,” song played by Mariachi.

Lucy enjoys a fireworks cake for her birthday

December 27, bachelorette party:

In Mexico, it is common to throw a house party before the bride marries. Which is why we had a surprise party for my sister. We made food and  played a lot of games. Musical chairs was really fun, especially if you play with my family, according to Lucy, that game explains why I am so competitive.

One of my sisters, Paulina, at the party for the bride.

December 29, wedding day:

The wedding started with the religious ceremony in Latin. Followed by the party held in the next town. I was I little bit nervous since I was the one who was going to say the speech. Fortunately, everything went smoothly. Later, the bride threw the bouquet of flowers, luckily, I did not catch it. To surprise the newlyweds, part of my family and me dressed up as “Timbiriche” (an old famous Mexican group). We also dance “El Caballo Dorado” and “El Payaso del Rodeo,” two famous songs that cannot be left out of a Mexican party. The wedding did not end until 3:00 a.m.

The bride wore a gorgeous white dress and everything seemed so holy, especially the religious ceremony that was in Latin.”

— Lucy Lee

 

Alejandra Mota and her girlfriends at her wedding

 

“Weddings in Mexico are really pretty and long. The bride wore a gorgeous white dress and everything seemed so holy, especially the religious ceremony that was in Latin. I also liked the people who were singing at the church, it sounded so beautiful.,” Lucy said.

“The wedding that we attended in Mexico was very fun, it is definitely more joyful than Korea, especially, the music choice and the dance choice,” Holly said.

December 30, Rodeo Time:

I took Holly and Lucy to the Rodeo, and judging by their laughter, I believe they enjoyed it,  especially the rodeo clown. There were people that I knew that were dancing in front of a big audience, so that was fun to see. We were glad that we did not buy the VIP tickets because the bulls ran through that area, this was quite a spectacle. Fortunately, nothing occurred, everybody was safe,  and the show went on.

The “vaqueros” or cowboys from the rodeo

December 31, New year’s party:

On this day, my family also gathers and prepares a big meal, pozole, and atole. We usually take a suitcase and run around my square with it, this signifies that you will travel a lot. We did not do it this year, maybe because that did not work for me last year. Something that my family always remains to each is that if you want love, wear red underwear, if you want money, wear yellow underwear.  This year we came up with something new, wear green underwear for the price of the gasoline not to rise. We always say this to have fun with each other, to make the new year more laughable.

January 1, the Toros, or bullfighting:

My family  and I took Holly and Lucy “to the Toros” it was fun to see the spectacle one more time. I must confess I am always a  little bit scared for the”toreros,” that is a really courageous job to do. In addition, I had a lot of fun seeing a group of boys throwing paint at each other in the arena. They were also happy of seeing Holly and Lucy there, they even asked the two girls to stand up, and to take pictures with them.

“The most memorable thing that happened to me in Mexico was to get more attention than the girls that won the beauty pageant show during the “Toros,” or bullfight,” Holly Yi said.

At the bullfight, after the paint fight. The Mota family with Lucy and Holly are in the top row.

“Definitely watching the bullfighting was my favorite thing to watch in Mexico. It got me thinking about the cruel custom and whether it should remain or not. After hearing the history of it and its meaning, I think is a really nice spectacle, and it should continue,” Holly  said.

Toreros, bullfighters, are carried around the Plaza de Toros after being awarded the bull’s ears following the fight

January 2, the big concert, El Recodo:

Tlaltenango, our neighboring town, was holding its biggest concert of the year. This also marks the end of the Feria (Town Party). Usually, all the people dress up as cowboys or as cowgirls since the music is the same style. T this party, occasionally boys ask girls to dance, people, meet each other when dancing. Next time if you want to find a friend you know where to go. The party went from 11:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. People usually eat tacos after this event, dancing can make people hungry. Unfortunately, Holly was sick and could not go, but it was fun to see Lucy being asked to dance to Mexican music.

It was also a good experience, as it was my first time dancing to Mexican music. especially because the boys in Mexico are very outgoing, they come to you and ask you to dance. It was really fun”

— Lucy Lee

My favorite thing to do in Mexico was going to the big concert andparty on January 2.

“It was also a good experience, as it was my first time dancing to Mexican music. especially because the boys in Mexico are very outgoing, they come to you and ask you to dance. It was really fun,”. Lucy Lee said.

El Recodo, the band we saw in Tlaltenango

January 5, visiting the Agua Caliente:

Before leaving Mexico, I went with Holly and Lucy to El Agua Caliente, the place where I spend my summer vacations. It is a beautiful place where I go on picnics with my friends and swim for the whole day. I did not know if the water was going to be too cold, but to my surprise it was  really nice. The place is 3o minutes away from my town, and it is really fun to walk there, specially because Mexico has a beautiful nature.

This Christmas was one of the most exciting  breaks I have had. It was good to see my family one more time, and meet my friends again. Without leaving out that I was glad to bring friends with me.  I cannot wait to go back to Mexico and spend another Christmas in my house.

 

I’m taking a nap on the rocks at Aqua Caliente

The waterfall at Aqua Caliente

 

Testing the water, not too bad for January.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Fiestas, toros, y boda: Christmas break in Mexico”

  1. Claire on April 26th, 2018 6:28 pm

    Looks like a lot of fun girl!!! <3

    [Reply]

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