Onilikan’s Christmas Tree (Quiote)
The traditions and the festivities happening in Mexico during the Christmas season are another example of our country’s ability to fuse different cultures and to create countless traditions now recognized as typically Mexican.
And I dare to say that in Mexico the number of traditional festivities, dishes and beverages of this time of the year have no parallel anywhere else in the world. We can take as an example Las Posadas, which begin in the first days of December and that, according to historians, they result from and adaptation of the indigenous worshipping to The Huitzilopochtli God and that curiously enough were held in the same days of December when the nativity of Jesus was celebrated. The Spanish missionaries that arrived in Mexico in the XVI century took advantage of this coincidence: apparently they used these religious traditions to instill Christianity to the indigenous people and gave a different sense to the Aztecas celebrations, a preparation to receive Jesus on Christmas Day. In its religious sense, Las Posadas are a means of preparing in a joyful way the arrival of Jesus Christ and to reenact the pilgrimage of Saint Joseph and The Virgin Maria before the birth of Jesus. In its social sense, it represents a great opportunity to party the whole month of December, as nowadays we have the pre-posadas.
To emphasize how these Mexican Christmas traditions are a result of the fusion of different cultures, let me tell you that the famous piñatas, an important part of Las Posadas, descent directly from China. In China they used to make animal figures covered with colorful papers and filled with seeds that were beaten with sticks. Probably this tradition was carried to Mexico through The Filipinas, resulting from the famous Galeón de Manila commercial traffic.
Actually, another tradition that prepares us for Christmas is a one that nowadays is practiced all over the world: The Christmas Tree. The Christmas tree tradition apparently comes from Europe and arrived at Mexico a long time ago. I can imagine that by now a lot of homes here and all over the world already have the decorated trees.
This year, in Onilikan, Artisanal Liqueurs from Mazatlán, we have started with the tradition of setting up a Christmas Tree that represents the mixture of cultures and from now on we will be using Agave Quiotes as a Christmas Tree. As we have mentioned before, agaves are genuinely Mexican and just flower once and when the flowering is completed the plant dies. The flowering process is dramatic, the quiote, a big spike with a long semi woody stem springs from the center of the plant (just imagine a giant asparagus!). We want to share with you some photos and we wish you a Happy Christmas.
Saludos y salud
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