Featured photo for Noche de los Rabanos

Noche de los Rabanos

This evening was the famous festival that made Sarah want to come to Oaxaca in the first place: La Noche de los Rabanos. Rabanos are radishes. What is so exciting about pink and white root vegetables, you might ask? One can carve them into delightful sculptures!

Unfortunately, when we arrived at the festival after exploring Mitla, it was already 8:00 in the evening and the length of the line rivaled that of the Barack Obama rally in Fort Collins last year. However, without Secret Service agents to open the floodgates, la cola (queue) moved at an iguana’s pace. After standing in line for an hour, I gave up and started shooting photos of radishes over people’s heads before heading back to the hostel and going to bed.

Sarah, on the other hand, persisted past midnight, staying in line for four hours. Four hours! So I may be able to get more photos from her. Below are the photos I took. I’m glad we stopped by the venue (the Zócalo in Oaxaca de Juárez) in the morning before heading to Mitla as we got to see radishes being carved on the spot and also talked with some of the artists.

A girl on a horse, and (presumably) her lover.
When we arrived at La Noche de los Rabanos before 8:00 p.m., the line was about a mile long.
A Feliz Navidad sign at the Z
After waiting for an hour in line, I jumped out of line and shot photos above the heads of people.  I think these are supposed to be people dancing to the tunes of a band.
Another angle of the radish people dancing to the tunes of a band.
Angels made from hojas de ma
Outside this nightclub a block away from La Noche de los Rabanos was this funny display of a dog ripping off the pants of a Santa climbing up a Christmas tree.
Some people in our hostel carved their own radishes.
A mermaid radish carving.
A radish holiday tree.
We asked these two women if they had a plan for what they were carving. "No, es espontaneo," they replied.
Figurines created from hojas de ma
Figurines created from hojas de ma
This nephew and uncle pair had been participating in La Noche de los Rabanos for the last 20 years. They won 2nd place this year.
In the morning, kids who registered could make their own radish carvings for free. The only materials allowed to be used were rabanos y palillos (radishes and toothpicks).
A boat made by a kid.
A cart made from radishes.
In the morning, we went to the Z