As we enter the holiday season, there are so many events, traditions and flavors to be enjoyed. “Posadas” or Christmas parties that feature a singing reenactment of Mary and Joseph asking for a room at the inn, piñatas and special party food are being held. Poblanos (people from Puebla) love lights, so houses and the entire city are lit up as well. Everywhere the traditional poinsettias are set out along with manger scenes with handmade figurines called “nacimientos”.
In recent years Atlixco has hosted an annual Christmas fair aptly named, “Villa Iluminada”. Despite not being completely recovered and repaired from the earthquake in September, this resilient town was completely lit up and was celebrating the beginning of the season with holiday foods, artisanal crafts and breads and well as rides and games for the children. Even the old train station (built in the 1880’s) was beautifully lighted and allowed a space for families to sit and talk to take a break from the festivities.
While the streets were crowded, a holiday feeling pervaded as families ambled along holding hands and children and helping elderly members navigate the narrow spaces. Vendors called out for you to admire their treasures and gave out samples of bread, wild honey, artisanal chocolates and “ponche”, a warm punch made from seasonal fruits.
As we moved along with the crowds, we were reminded of the importance of being together as a family this holiday season, of savoring the many rich traditions and of the strength of a community joining together to celebrate in spite of facing recent destruction and tragedy.