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A little about Playa Zipolite, The Beach of the Dead . . .

Playa Zipolite, Oaxaca, Southern Mexico, on the Pacific Ocean. A little bit about my favorite little get-away on this small world of ours.

Zipolite, a sweaty 30-minute walk west from Puerto Angel, brings you to Playa Zipolite and another world. The feeling here is 1970's - Led Zep, Marley, and scruffy gringos.

A long, long time ago, Zipolite beach was usually visited by the Zapotecans...who made it a magical place. They came to visit Zipolite to meditate, or just to rest.

Recently, this beach has begun to receive day-trippers from Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido, giving it a more TOURISTY feel than before.

Most people come here for the novelty of the nude beach, yoga, turtles, seafood, surf, meditation, vegetarians, discos, party, to get burnt by the sun, or to see how long they can stretch their skinny budget.

I post WWW Oaxaca, Mexico, Zipolite and areas nearby information. Also general budget, backpacker, surfer, off the beaten path, Mexico and beyond, information.

REMEMBER: Everyone is welcome at Zipolite.

ivan

ZIPO TV

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Night of the RadishesA Mexican festival that centers around radish carving

Published: Dec. 12, 2011 Updated: 6:30 p.m.


Text: Next Article » Night of the RadishesA Mexican festival that centers around radish carving





Photos by LAURA CHIARA, For the Register Text by MARLA JO FISHER, Staff writer



Maybe you're weary of festivals centered around giant radishes that are carved into little people, then dressed up and put into fancy tableaux. Really? You've never been to one? Well, you're not alone.

The only place on earth you can find Night of the Radishes is in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca, where each Dec. 23, the town plaza in the capital city is taken over by artisans sculpting their vegetable creations, hoping to win top prize.


Article Tab: A girl rides on a Christmas Eve parade float in the plaza, Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico.
A girl rides on a Christmas Eve parade float
in the plaza, Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico.

 Mexico is known for its folk art, but Oaxaca (pronounced wa-ha-ca) has more unique arts and crafts than any other region, due in part to its large indigenous population that has retained its ancient customs.

Carved, painted whimsical wooden animals, painted tin, ceramics and hand weavings are eagerly sought-after by collectors.

Foodies also flock here for the seven types of mole.

But there's only one time of year you can find an entire extravaganza built around giant radishes, which according to legend dates back to the 16th century, shortly after the Spanish conquest.

Artisans select their radishes--grown in a special field just for this event--then painstakingly sculpt scenes around them, displaying their work to judges each year on Dec. 23rd in the zocalo, or town square.

Prizes are also given for corn-husk scenarios.

Visitors and locals alike throng the cobblestone streets of the plaza to view the creations, then enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations and street fair that cover parts of the historic district until January.

If you go:

You can pay thousands to go on a pricey tour to Night of the Radishes (in Spanish, Noche de Rabanos) or you can just fly to Oaxaca, staying in a hotel around the zocalo (town square). You'll never forget it, and you just might become enchanted with this unique region.

Flights: You can fly to Oaxaca from LAX, with a plane change in Houston or Mexico City. Changing planes in Houston is less hassle. Inexpensive shuttles will take you to your hotel from the airport.

Deluxe hotel: Camino Real Oaxaca is housed luxuriously in a beautiful former convent and great part of town. Calle 5 de Mayo 300, Oaxaca 68000, Mexico http://camino-real-oaxaca.com/

Budget hotel: Hotel Las Mariposas, Pino Suarez 517, Centro, Oaxaca 68000, Mexico http://www.lasmariposas.com.mx/

Tips: You can walk around town without a car, but hire a car with an English-speaking driver to take you around the valley to artist villages and other attractions. Expect to pay $10-$12 an hour. Your hotel can arrange it, or talk to the cab drivers at the zocalo. Make sure you visit the Monte Alban archeological site. It's always warm in Oaxaca, but bring a sweater for nighttime. Spanish immersion classes are popular in Oaxaca, because few people speak English there. Bring your dictionary.

Contact the writer: 714-796-7994 or mfisher@ocregister.com


This senorita was carved from a giant radish and is wearing a cauliflower skirt. She's entered into a competition during the Night of the Radishes festival, held each Dec. 23 in Oaxaca, Mexico.Prayer candles illuminate one of the many ornate churches in Oaxaca, Mexico.Courtyard of an ancient stone church in Oaxaca Valley, Mexico.Detail of a stained glass window in one of the many ornate churches in Oaxaca, Mexico.Winner of the corn husk sculpture competition, part of the Night of the Radishes festival, held every year on Dec. 23 in Oaxaca, Mexico. In Spanish, the festival is called Noche de Rabanos.Winner of the corn husk sculpture competition, part of the Night of the Radishes festival, held every year on Dec. 23 in Oaxaca, Mexico. In Spanish, the festival is called Noche de Rabanos.


A young girl carves a giant radish into a doll in the children's competition for the Night of the Radishes festival in Oaxaca, Mexico.A young girl carves a giant radish into a doll in the children's competition for the Night of the Radishes festival in Oaxaca, Mexico.


Detail of a grasshopper sculpture from the Night of the Radishes festival, which is held annually on Dec. 23 in the main plaza in Oaxaca, Mexico. Sculptures of people and animals are carved from giant radishes.Detail of a grasshopper sculpture from the Night of the Radishes festival, which is held annually on Dec. 23 in the main plaza in Oaxaca, Mexico. Sculptures of people and animals are carved from giant radishes.


An artisan carves a musical band out of giant radishes during the Night of the Radishes festival, which is held each Dec. 23 in the zocalo (town square) in Oaxaca, Mexico. In Spanish, the festival is called Noche de Rabanos.An artisan carves a musical band out of giant radishes during the Night of the Radishes festival, which is held each Dec. 23 in the zocalo (town square) in Oaxaca, Mexico. In Spanish, the festival is called Noche de Rabanos.


A woman sits with a radish sculpture during Night of the Radishes festival, which is held each Dec. 23 in the zocalo (town square) in Oaxaca, Mexico. In Spanish, the festival is called Noche de Rabanos.A woman sits with a radish sculpture during Night of the Radishes festival, which is held each Dec. 23 in the zocalo (town square) in Oaxaca, Mexico. In Spanish, the festival is called Noche de Rabanos.


A giant radish that's been sculpted into a dragon for the Night of the Radishes festival, which is held each Dec. 23 in the zocalo in Oaxaca, Mexico.A giant radish that's been sculpted into a dragon for the Night of the Radishes festival, which is held each Dec. 23 in the zocalo in Oaxaca, Mexico.


This saxophone player was carved from a giant radish for the  Noche de Rabanos (Night of the Radishes) festival in Oaxaca, Mexico. Even his serape was carved from a radish.This saxophone player was carved from a giant radish for the Noche de Rabanos (Night of the Radishes) festival in Oaxaca, Mexico. Even his serape was carved from a radish.


Church in Valle de Oaxaca, Mexico.Church in Valle de Oaxaca, Mexico.A girl preparing giant radishes to be carved and dressed like a miniature person for the Night of the Radishes festival, which is held each Dec. 23 in the zocalo (town square) in Oaxaca, Mexico. In Spanish, the festival is called Noche de Rabanos.A girl preparing giant radishes to be carved and dressed like a miniature person for the Night of the Radishes festival, which is held each Dec. 23 in the zocalo (town square) in Oaxaca, Mexico. In Spanish, the festival is called Noche de Rabanos.




vZapotec woman exhibiting her rug for sale i Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca Valley, Mexico. Wool for the rugs is spun into yard on old-fashioned spinning wheels, then hand-dyed and woven on wooden looms in this village of weavers.Zapotec woman exhibiting her rug for sale i Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca Valley, Mexico. Wool for the rugs is spun into yard on old-fashioned spinning wheels, then hand-dyed and woven on wooden looms in this village of weavers.

A girl rides on a Christmas Eve parade float in the plaza, Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico.A girl rides on a Christmas Eve parade float in the plaza, Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico.


This senorita was carved from a giant radish and is wearing a cauliflower skirt. She's entered into a competition during the Night of the Radishes festival, held each Dec. 23 in Oaxaca, Mexico.This senorita was carved from a giant radish and is wearing a cauliflower skirt. She's entered into a competition during the Night of the Radishes festival, held each Dec. 23 in Oaxaca, Mexico.


Prayer candles illuminate one of the many ornate churches in Oaxaca, Mexico.Prayer candles illuminate one of the many ornate churches in Oaxaca, Mexico.




 

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