Forget about the Boston, New York or Chicago marathons! Mexico has its very own Maraton Guadalupe Reyes…..
If you have Mexican friends, you must have heard these two words. Guadalupe Reyes refers to the period from December 12th (day of the Virgin of Guadalupe and beginning of the Christmas season) to January 6th (Day of the Three Kings or Día de Reyes and end of the Christmas season). The Posadas (December 16th to 24th),) iChristmas, New Year´s Eve and Día de Reyes make up a marathon of celebrations, but an eating, drinking and partying marathon rather than an athletic one……..
The posadas (spanish for shelters) are originally meant to recreate the trip Joseph and Mary had to do during 9 days to find shelter in Bethleem. Traditionally, every day of the posada period, families and neighbors gather in a different house to represent Joseph and Mary asking for shelter. People holding candles stand outside a house and sing a song asking for shelter. Those inside first refuse to let them in until they finally offer shelter. Once inside, they are offered food and drink. The posadas can also be a party with coworkers, friends, relatives, and in spite of their religious origin, they are usually a good excuse for drinking…..
January 6th is the end of the “marathon”, children get presents from the “Reyes Magos” and everybody eats the “Rosca de Reyes” (a special sweet bread with candied fruit and a figurine of the baby inside). Whoever gets a piece with the baby inside is supposed to host a “tamales” party on February 2nd (Día de la Candelaria or Candlemas day). The larger roscas usually have several babies inside so the responsibility (and cost) of buying the tamales can be shared.
Guadalupe Reyes is over today, time to remember your new year´s resolutions. Why not learn Spanish in Mexico to find out more about its rich culture, in addition to the language!