12 Days of Christmas #11: The Night of the Radishes

I’m writing this from the half-way stop on our epic trek home to my parents house for the Christmas holiday.  In the morning we’ll have to drive north for another four hours or so, depending on the wind and snow, and whether roads stay open.

Welcome to Oaxaca! Image from mexconnect.com

Before we all get overwhelmed by Christmas celebrations, I have to mention a fantastic festival I discovered that takes place every 23rd of December, in Oaxaca City, Mexico. Tonight is the Night of the Radishes, Noche de Rábanos, (not the title of a low budget horror film) a festival which attracts thousands of people each year, often spilling over onto Christmas eve and Christmas day.

Celebrations often include a float parade, street parties, firework displays and musical performances. The centrepiece of the event is an exhibition of sculptures crafted from specially-grown radishes.

You might be forgiven for thinking that a radish is far too tiny to carve, but these giants are left in the ground for months after the harvest, continuing to grow until they reach sizes of up to half a metre long and up to 3kg in weight, contorted into weird and wonderful shapes. Sculptors carve the vegetables into human figures, nativity scenes, dioramas of folktales, and scale models of real buildings and compete for a grand prize worth thousands of Pesos

Christmas isn’t Christmas without some skeletons carved from root vegetables. Image from soiledandseeded.com

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

I’ve been rather busy lately, not doing anything particularly specific, just those little things that eat up all your time, which means that I’ve been a bit neglectful of my blog over the last week or so.  I missed posting an “Unexpected” entry to the Weekly Photo Challenge.

Punchy is shocked at the amount of paperwork.

I’ve completed four job applications, prepared for an interview, stepped up my marathon training programme (and taken part in two 5k runs), tidied the garden and started tackling the massive mess that is the spare bedroom/ junkroom.  I even baked a cake (a giant chocolate and orange Jaffa cake) for the Bear’s birthday.  On top of that I’ve also started to put together a plan for fundraising, and begun to plan a couple of events.  However, I did find time to stick googly eyes to stationary, cooking utensils and toiletries around the house, to give an unexpected surprise to visitors.

The Kon-Tiki Expedition

Kon Tiki: Across the Pacific by Raft by Thor Heyerdahl. 

Only a year or so after the end of WWII five Norwegians, a Swede and a Spanish-speaking parrot of irritable disposition put their sense of adventure ahead of their sense of safety, and set out on one of the most audacious expeditions of modern times. Continue reading