Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Bringing the Season to a Close

The holiday season in Mexico stretches from December 12th (the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe) until January 6th (Día de los Reyes Magos... Day of the Magi Kings).  Some jokingly refer to this marathon of celebrating as Guadalupe-Reyes.  

Alejandro and his family stretched the holiday season out one extra day to include my arrival to Mexico yesterday.  Alejandro picked me up at the airport and drove me to his home where I am spending the first couple nights.

The Christmas tree and the "nacimiento" (nativity scene) next to it are still in the courtyard of the house.

For supper Alejandro made hot chocolate, and he reheated some left-over tamales which he had made for New Year's.  He put the tamales in a bowl, and then placed them in a large kettle with some water in the bottom, put a lid on the pot, and steamed the tamales.

The tamales were not the typical ones made from corn dough.  These were "tamales canarios", sweet tamales made from rice flour.  Alejandro had made three different kinds, with nuts, pineapple and cranberries.  (Cranberry tamales may sound strange, but they were very good.)  They are called "canary" tamales because of their yellow color.

Before we had our supper, however, this "gringo Santa" distributed gifts to everyone... to Alejandro, his father, his sister Sandra, and his nephew Ezra.  My larger carry-on was packed with presents.  I had also brought some gift bags and tissue paper, and when I got to Alejandro's house I put all the gifts into the bags.  Everyone was very pleased with their presents.

Our supper also included left-over "Rosca de Reyes" (Ring of the Kings) from the previous night.  The "rosca" is a ring-shaped bread which is traditional for January 6th.  Baked into the bread is a little figure of the Baby Jesus.  Whoever gets the figure in his or her slice is supposed to serve tamales on the Feast of Candelaria on February 2nd.

Well guess who got a Baby Jesus? (I circled the figure in the photo.)

So, is it OK if I just buy some tamales and bring them to the house?  The funny thing is that there were several figures in the "rosca", and Alejandro's father and his little nephew got the Baby Jesus also.

Regardless, it was a joyous evening spent with my "Mexican family"!

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