The Night of the Radish in Mexico

The Night of the Radish, or Noche de rábanos, is celebrated every year in Oaxaca, Mexico, on December 23rd.  Originating in 1897, the origins of the Night of the Radish are a big foggy.  It is rumoured that the custom came from two monks who encouraged agriculture in the region.  Feeling that some decorations might increase vegetable sales at the local market, one of the monks suggested carving the radishes.  It has since then exploded to one of the most popular events in Mexico.

You might be thinking that radishes are too small to carve but the local radishes, originally introduced from Spain, can weigh up to 3 kilograms and be up to 50 cm long.  The vegetables have also been grown specifically for this night.

Mexican artisans show off their skills, carving everything from women in fine gowns to nativity scenes.  The event only lasts one evening, though, as the radishes do not keep well, often getting soft and discoloured in a matter of hours. There is a cash prize for the best carving.

When:  December 23rd, 2012

Where: Oaxaca, Mexico

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