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Oaxacans sculpt radishes into art in Christmas tradition

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 01:26

Dec. 24 - Oaxacans kick off Christmas holiday with annual festivity which sees residents sculpt radishes into figures from the nativity scene. Nathan Frandino reports.

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And with a bang, residents of Oaxaca, Mexico kick off their Christmas season with their annual tradition: "Radish Night." In front of the city's church, thousands come out to celebrate the "roots" of Christmas with radishes sculpted into art. The festival combines traditional folk art and agriculture with figures from the nativity scene and teh last supper. Radish sculptor Carlos Eduardo Luria says they keep it simple using only wooden sticks and a local plant common to Oaxaca. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RADISH SCULPTOR, CARLOS EDUARDO LURIA, SAYING: "The use of glue is not allowed, nor is adhesive or wire, things which are not natural or ecological so that's why reed is used to keep pieces together." From humble beginnings in indigenous agriculture, the tradition has since expanded into a colorful festival and attracts visitors from all over the world. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMERICAN TOURIST, RUSSELL, SAYING: "It's just the most wonderful vision of the culture, of Oaxaca, the traditions, the imagination, the fantasy, the spirit of the people. It's just so wonderful. You have an amazing place here and we love it." Other pieces include Joseph leading Mary to Bethlehem as well as the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

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Oaxacans sculpt radishes into art in Christmas tradition

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 01:26