Viernes de Vocabulario: Día de Muertos II

Este viernes dedicaremos nuevamente nuestra sección al Día de Muertos en Oaxaca.

¿En Oaxaca todos los días, son días de fiesta?

Fiesta patronal: es el conjunto de actividades con las que una población celebra al santo patrón (San Juan Apóstol, San Judas Tadeo, etc.) de su iglesia.

Las señales que guían a nuestros difuntos.

Altar de muertos del Instituto Cultural Oaxaca.

Mayordomo: habitante de una población que patrocina las fiestas religiosas en una comunidad.

Fuegos artificiales /Cohetes /Toritos /Castillo: artículos pirotécnicos usados en las fiestas y celebraciones para invitar, iniciar o terminar las mismas.

Ataúd: caja generalmente de madera en la que se deposita el cuerpo de los difuntos, de forma coloquial se le llama Caja de muerto.

Urna o cofre : caja de metal, piedra u otro material, que sirve para guardar  los restos o las cenizas de los cadáveres humanos.

Cripta o tumba: lugar subterráneo en el que se acostumbra enterrar a los muertos.

Calenda: es la forma de anunciar, invitar y celebrar de la población  en sus fiestas, generalmente acompañada de una banda de música.

Procesión: es un acto de carácter religioso y solemne en la que un conjunto de personas siguen un recorrido trazado.

Mono de calenda: figuras de papel maché que representan la forma humana , vestidos con ropa típica y con una estructura de carrizo.

28 de octubre: según la tradición náhuatl en este día llegan aquellos que murieron ahogados.

31 de octubre: llegada de las almas de los niños al mediodía.

1 de noviembre: día de todos los santos.

2 de noviembre: día en el que todos  los difuntos regresan de donde estén.

Tejocote: fruta nativa de México semejante a una pequeña manzana.

“Los muertos nos jalan las patas” si tomamos algo del altar antes de las 12:00 del día del 2 de noviembre, los muertos vienen a jalarnos los pies o las piernas como castigo por tomar de forma adelantada parte de su comida.

Cementerio: terreno, generalmente cercado, destinado a enterrar cadáveres. También recibe los nombres de:

  • panteón: de origen latino, templo dedicado en Roma antigua a todos los dioses.
  • campo santo: lugar sagrado o santo para enterrar cadáveres.
  • necrópolis: de origen griego, la ciudad de los muertos.
  • tetokoyan: de origen náhuatl,  lugar donde están los huesos de los muertos.

Purgatorio: lugar donde las almas están estancadas según la religión católica.

Almas en pena: almas de las personas que no tienen descanso y que siguen viviendo en el mundo terrenal.

Andar como alma en pena: manera extrema de decir que se anda muy triste.

La llorona: mujer que según la leyenda mata a sus hijos a manera de venganza, ya que su esposo la había engañado.

You can also watch our last Google Hangout with our teachers Omar Lemus y Octavio Lara.

 

For more information about our Google Hangouts please email us at info@icomexico.com.

You can also request private classes online at info@icomexico.com

For Spanish Language Classes at Instituto Cultural Oaxaca visit www.icomexico.com

En El Día de la Candelaria: Tamales Oaxaqueños

Tradicionalmente en México el día 2 de febrero se celebra el día de la candelaria que en el calendario católico marca el fin de las celebraciones de navidad, ya que es cuando termina la cuarentena después del nacimiento del niño en Jesus. 

La Rosca de Reyes

Se cuenta que en la madrugada del 6 de enero, los tres reyes magos llegaron de oriente a visitar al niño Jesus. En México celebramos la llegada de los reyes magos comiendo la famosa Rosca de Reyes. Es un momento de compartir, con los amigos, colegas, familiares o de ser posible con cada uno de ellos. En México el día 6 de enero comemos Rosca de Reyes. Tradicionalmente cada persona parte su pedazo de rosca y dentro la rosca hay varios muñequitos que representan al niño Jesus. Si te toca el niño en la rosca tendrás que pagar o hacer los tamales el día de la Candelaria, es decir el 2 de Febrero. 

En México, no existen tamales más famosos que los Tamales Oaxaqueños de hecho hay carritos en la Ciudad de México que se promocionan con un “jingle” que dice: “Tamales Oaxaqueños, Calientitos, Deliciosos…” A decir verdad estos tamales aun que son muy buenos no se acercan a los Tamales Oaxaqueños…
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En Oaxaca los mejores tamales… 

En el Mercado de la Merced uno puede encontrar de los mejores tamales oaxaqueños que usted haya podido probar, es el lugar para comprar tamales. Dentro del mercado uno de los puestos con más tradición es el de “Tamales Geno”  que es atendido por Aurorita, quien nos contó es hija de Doña Geno..

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Aurorita y su familia han vendido tamales en el Mercado Democracia de la Merced por más de 60 años, su abuela solía vender tamales en una canasta cuando el mercado  estaba afuera de la Iglesia de la Merced..
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Aurorita nos platicó que ella y su familia vende tamales durante todo el año, pero que hay dos fechas en donde principalmente se venden más los tamales, el 2 de febrero, que es el Día de la Candelaria y el Día de Muertos. 
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Tradicionalmente en el Día de la Candelaria los tamales se acompañan con atole de Maíz y durante el Día de Muertos los tamales se acompañan con Chocolate. 

Nos contó Aurorita que si usted quiere tamales el 2 de Febrero sólo se pueden conseguir por encargo, ya que Tamales Geno o Aurorita llega a vender más de 1000 tamales este día.. 

Los tamales preferidos son los de Mole que llegan a costar hasta 20 pesos, Estos tamales son los únicos tamales envueltos en hoja de plátano, estan hechos con pechuga de pollo, y mole negro, llegan a pesar hasta medio kilo. Los tamales envueltos en hoja de maíz son de Rajas, Amarillo, Salsa Verde, Dulce, Frijol y Chepil y el precio puede variar entre $7 y $12 pesos.

On Calendaria day: Tamales Oaxaqueños

Traditionally, we celebrate Calendaria on February 2nd in Mexico.  This holiday is when the Catholic calendar marks the end of the Christmas celebrations, since it is forty days after the birth of the baby Jesus.

It’s told that on January 6th, in the early morning, the three Wise Men arrived from the Orient to visit the baby Jesus.  In Mexico, we celebrate the arrival of the Wise Men by eating the famous Rosca de Reyes (a traditional cake).  It is a moment to share – with friends, colleagues, or relatives, and hopefully all of the above – and so we eat Rosca de Reyes in Mexico on January 6th.  Traditionally, each person cuts his own piece of the cake, and a number of little dolls have been baked into the cake to represent the baby Jesus.  If you get a piece with a doll, you have to buy or make the tamales for Candelaria, February 2nd.

In Mexico, there are no tamales more famous than  Oaxacan tamales.  In fact, there are carts in Mexico City that promote them with a jingle that says: “hot, delicious, Oaxacan tamales.”  The truth is that these tamales, although they are delicious, don’t come close to real Oaxacan tamales…

In Oaxaca the best Tamales…

In the Merced Market, you can find the best Oaxacan tamales that you could ever hope to try.  It’s simply the best place to buy them.  Inside this market, one of the most traditional stalls is called “Tamales Geno”, staffed by Aurorita, who told us that she’s the daughter of Doña Geno (for whom the stall is named).

Aurorita and her family have sold tamales in this market for more than 60 years, and her grandmother used to sell tamales from a basket when the market was still outside the Merced Church.

Aurorita told us that they sell tamales the whole year, but there are two days in which they sell the most: February 2nd, Candelaria, and the Day of the Dead.  Traditionally, tamales are eaten with corn atole during Candelaria, while they’re eaten with chocolate during Day of the Dead.

If you want tamales for February 2nd, you can only get them by ordering ahead, since Tamales Geno – or Aurorita – sell more than a thousand tamales on this day.

The best tamales are the mole ones, which cost up to 20 pesos, and are the only tamales wrapped in banana leaves.  One tamal with chicken breast and black mole can weigh up to half a kilo.  The types of tamales that are wrapped in corn husks are rajas (strips of jalapeño pepper), yellow mole, green salsa, beans, chepil (a wild green), and sweet tamales, and the price ranges from $7 to $12 pesos.

* Translated by Jenna Barchas-Lichtenstein 

 

La Noche de Rábanos: Radish Night

La Noche de Rábanos es una tradición Oaxaqueña que se lleva a cabo a cada año el 23 de Diciembre. Durante este día diferentes familias Oaxaqueñas año con año tallan figuras representativas de Oaxaca con Rábanos, Flor Inmortal y Totomosle u Hoja de Maíz con las que participan compenteciá en donde un comité vota por las mejores figuras cada año. 

Esta tradición tuvo sus inicios en la navidad de 1897 cuando el Presidente Municipal Francisco Vasconselos convocó a las familias del mercado a llevar a cabo esta tradición que se ha celebrado por más de 100 años.

La Noche de Rábanos or “Radish Night” takes plaes every December 23. During this day Oaxacan families join yearly contest to make the best altars in which figures that reprensent Oaxaca in different ways are carved using Radishes, Flor Inmortal, or Totomosle (Corn Sheath)

This Tradition has its beginings in 1897 when the Municipal President Francisco Vasconcelos started with families from the Oaxaca Market this tradition that has been a constant sucess for more than a hundred years. 

 

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Day of the Dead at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca

Day of the Dead in Oaxaca

As Native Oaxacan, and as most Oaxacans would say you can come to Oaxaca at any time during the year, the weather it is magnificent, you can join Calendas, parties, and celebrations through the whole year, but my favorite time of year it is during the Day of the Dear, or Dia de los muertos. 

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Many would say that Christmas is the holyday that is most celebrated in Oaxaca, but it is the Day of the Dead, I would say people invest more money on the day of the dead celebrations than in any other celebration, for that reason at ICO we have design a program that while studying spanish allows you to enjoy the magic and the beauty of Oaxaca.

The Instituto Cultural Oaxaca’s Day of the Dead program consists of two weeks and this year we will have the following program. 

  • From 9 to 1PM as usual, we will have Spanish Language Classes
  • In the arternoons from Monday to Thursday we will have Cultural Workshops, but only for these two weeks of the year we host our Mask Making workshop. These masks are used during our Comparsa.  
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  • Our Cooking workshop we will be learning how to make Mole Negro, which is the traditional dish served in this celebration
  • On October 31 we will host our annual Comparsa in which all of students, teachers, friends and families join us at ICO to celebrate the return of the Dead. On this day we will have our althar ignauration.
  • On October 31 we will visit the cemetery of Xoxocotlan. 
  • On November 1st we join the comparsas in the valley of Etla. 
  • On November 2nd we will visit the cemetery of San Felipe del Agua. 

 

 

In addition to activities held by the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca, while you are in Oaxaca you will be able to witness the Day of the Dead festivities from different angles. For example if you decide to stay with a homestay family there are many chances that you will participate in the family’s altar set up. It is very likely that the family will invite you to participate in the different family events in which all the family gets together to received the returning loved ones. 

In the streets of Oaxaca is possible to witness festivals, contests of altars, there flowers and sand tapestries everywere. I recommend that you visit the pateon general which open its doors to welcome of the families, friends and all visitors who would like to partake of this amazing experience.

Markets – Previous to the Day of the Dead Markets operate at their full capacity everyone is buying flowers, candles, sweets, fruit, and all the ingredientes for their altars and of the preparation of the main meal, so the visit of a market is a Thing that you must do in Oaxaca during the Day of the Dead.

Another way to get immerse in Oaxaca’s Culture during this time is by joining a tour with Fundacion En Via in which by supporting a local community you will get in exchange and authentic cultural experience

If you would like to spend your time enjoying Oaxaca and taking advantage of all the activies the ICO offers another way to participate in these celebration is with MOCAdventures who offers a unique and personal Day of the Dead Experience

Oaxaca: the perfect year-round destination to Study Spanish

Oaxaca

Oaxaca, situated in the south east of Mexico with a significant share of coast line on the Pacific Ocean, is one of those fantastic year-round destinations. An average temperature of 75F/25C makes Oaxaca the perfect year-round destation to Learn Spanish, there really isn’t bad time to come!

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Here is a list of popular Oaxaca attractions through the year  to check out, whether you’re here summer or winter:

Summer

  • The Guelagueza Festival – This popular summer cultural festival of Folklore, music, art and gastronomy sets apart from the traditional dances of the Guelaguetza
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  • Hike or Bike – The Sierra Norte of Oaxaca is the perfect place to scape during the weekend to hit the slops. There are wide-open, well-groomed runs for beginners and challenging or less-groomed for experts.
  • Teotitlan del Valle Annual Festival – In this traditional Cultural Festival,  you can enjoy and be witness of one of the most expressive folkloric dances of Oaxaca “La danza del Pluma,” participate in the annual Tamale fair and enjoy one of the most important festivals in the central valleys of Oaxaca
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Fall

The best of all seasons to be in Oaxaca, not too hot and the rain season ends on early October letting you to enjoy the best evenings of the year and the best celebration of all Oaxacan Celebrations!

  • Day of the Dead or “Día de los Muertos” – The most time-honored and expressive holiday of Oaxaca. Although “Día de los Muertos”  is known all over Mexico, Oaxaca has become known for it’s ornately rich celebrations venerating the return of their deceased loved ones on November 1st and 2nd. During this time of the year at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca apart from teaching Spanish we focus our culture classes on this season and students participate in our Mask Making workshop to use in our annual “comparsa”
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Winter

  • Posadas – A nine-day celebration with origins in Spain, now celebrated chiefly in Mexico, beginning on December 16th and ending on the 24th. Every Year at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca we celebrate our annual “posada” in which we sing Christmas carols (Villancicos) and students, homestay families and children break different the piñatas made in our Piñata making workshop that takes place during the Spanish Program of December
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  • Night of the Radishes – Noche de Rabanos – A unique Oaxacan expression of the Christmas season takes places on December 23rd. Since 1897 takes places in the “zócalo”
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Spring

  • Cuaresma – Lent –  is a wonderful time to come to Oaxaca! What it is Day of the Dead in the fall, it is “Viernes de Dolores” or “Friday of Sorrows” during lent. During this season you can enjoy all the festivities around this wonderful season that starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter! – During Easter is the perfect time to visit the different markets on the valley of Oaxaca, since they are provide all Oaxacans with flowers, sweets and all the ingredients for the celebrations. They are also a key component of the season!

Always is a wonderful time to come to the Oaxaca and sit at the Zocalo and enjoy the refreshing shadows of the “laurales de la india” which are not from India, but from “the indias” which back at the time of the discovery of America is where the Spanish believed they had arrived to.

For more information about the Spanish Program of the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca visit: www.icomexico.com