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Noche de Rabanos in Mexico - Night of the Radishes

Carla Isarel Estrada Clemente from Mexico

young girl with radish
Photo: Wayne Helfrich

A young girl is about to carve a radish. She wants to create an original sculpture.

horse and rider
Photo: Wayne Helfrich

A horse and rider carved from radishes. The judges choose the best sculptures. This is a difficult task because all of the sculptures are beautiful and creative. This sculpture is of a horse and rider.

figure with bow and arrows Photo: Leonel G. (Lupe) Gutiérrez
Totomoxtle (corn husks) were used to create this innovative, historical figure with a bow and arrow.


Every year for more than a hundred years, the vegetable and flower gardeners in Oaxaca, Mexico have participated in the Noche de Rabanos (Night of the Radishes). This is a traditional festival that is celebrated in Oaxaca on the evening of December 23.

The Noche de Rabanos was first celebrated in the Mercado de la Virgilia de la Navidad, and the first competition was held in the Mercado Porfirio Diaz.

The garderners make original sculptures out of vegetables, especially radishes, and from totomoxtle (corn husks) and immortal flowers. For one nlight, they become very creative sculptors.

Some sculptures are of structures, some are of people, and some are of animals. The sculptures have religious, historical, humorous, cultural, and traditional themes.

The gardeners begin to prepare two or three months before the festival. First they have to sow radishes, and their radishes must be ready three days before the competition.

They set up many stands in the Zocalo (the main plaza in the city) next to the cathedral to display their special sculptures and compete for prizes.

The judges choose the best sculptures. This is a difficult task because all of the sculptures are beautiful and creative.

Oaxaca is the only place in the world where this festival is celebrated. Each year, Oaxaca invites people to come and see the Noche de Rabanos. Many people come. It is a party of color and creativity.


Photo Galleries of the 2008 celebration of Noche de Rabanos:

Lupe's Gallery: Photos taken by Leonel G. (Lupe) Gutiérrez.

Wayne's Gallery: Photos taken by Wayne Helfrich.


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