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Night of the Radishes, a 122-year-old Oaxacan tradition

Every December 23, in the main square of Oaxaca the traditional Night of the Radishes takes place. It is a celebration with more than 120 years that unites the peasants and artisans of the state.

For the Night of Radishes, gardeners and flower growers show incredible crafts made with this vegetable. But they are also made with immortal flower and totomoxtle (dried corn leaf). And in each piece we can appreciate a little about their traditions and daily life. No doubt they are crafts full of creativity.

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From sales strategy to tradition

It all started with a tianguis that was put on every December 23 to sell the ingredients for the Christmas meal. But, to make the stands more striking, merchants created figures with radishes.


According to several sources, it is said that the first Night of Radishes as such was in 1897. From that date, curiously a marketing strategy became a tradition.

Figures with radishes

First of all, radishes are sown from September to November. Of course, to make the figures must be of different sizes, because it is only to sculpt them. The ones that are most used are those that reach 50 centimeters.

In this party, children and adults participate in the harvest of December 19. As well as in the installation of the great Night of Radishes. Once there, a contest of several categories is held. The first is the Traditional one in which figures related to parties, dances or illustrious people of the town are rewarded. While the other is Free category.


Definitely, the process is not simple, it takes time. And when sculpting the radish you have to be very careful in the details, but, above all, not to cut yourself.

Thus, the Night of Radishes is a beautiful tradition that is part of the celebrations of Oaxaca.


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Paola Uviarco

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