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Oaxaca celebrates holiday "roots" with radish festival

Monday, December 24, 2012 - 00:59

Dec. 24 - Oaxacans celebrate the annual ''Radish Night,'' a Christmas festivity which sees residents sculpt radishes into complex figures and structures. Lindsay Claiborn reports.

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The southern Mexican state of Oaxaca is celebrating the "roots" of Christmas this year by sculpting radishes as part of traditional festivities in the region. Sculpted into complex figures from ancient Mayan kings to Mexico's patron saint, Our Lady of Guadalupe, the unique "Radish Night" festival in Oaxaca City combines traditional folk art and agriculture in a competition for prizes. Dozens of farmers, florists, and local business owners showed off their elaborate radish-sculpturing skills to long lines of spectators eager to catch a glimpse of the detailed and complex works. The figures are decorated and made by scores of agriculture industry workers, who are not allowed to use ink to paint figures, nor metal articles to hold up their work. They keep it simple using only wooden sticks and a local plant common to Oaxaca. With festival competition fierce, each category is judged with first, second, and third places - and prize money ranging from 1,300 pesos ($100 US) to 36,000 pesos (nearly $2800 US).

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Oaxaca celebrates holiday "roots" with radish festival

Monday, December 24, 2012 - 00:59