Radishes for Christmas…

radish virgin w/ 9 radish stars
When: 23rd December every year.
Where: Zocalo area of Oaxaca city, Mexico.

While you are peeling sprouts and stuffing your turkey the good citizens of Oaxaca in Mexico are carving radishes. La Noche de los Rábanos (Night of the Radishes) is a unique folk art festival that takes place in the run up to Christmas.

The Night of the Radishes is one of the most anticipated events in Oaxaca. Every year, this humble vegetable is carved into intricate sculptures of animals and saints, conquerors and kings, and anything else you can possibly imagine.

Nobody really knows how this festival started, although it is believed to have originated towards the end of the 1800s when markets during Christmas eve sold salt-dried fish and vegetables for customers coming out of midnight mass. To differentiate the fish from the veg (and no doubt pass the time as they waited for customers) the vendors sculpted their radishes into tiny figures. These carved radishes then became a popular addition to the Christmas table and more and more intricate carvings were made each year.

(via Somewhere in the world today)