Sunday, 1 February 2015

Mexican Christmas Traditions: Candelaria - Candlemas Celebration and "Levantada del Niño Dios"

Mexican Christmas Traditions - Levantada del Niño Dios

On February 2nd. we celebrate in Mexico "Día de la Candelaria" / Candlemas celebration and also another Christmas Tradition known as "Levantada del Niño Dios".
Levantada del Niño Dios: In this celebration the image of Baby Jesus is dressed up with clothing (dress, shoes, socks, hat, etc ) given as a gift by friends who are invited as godparents. Lullabies are song and the image of Baby Jesus is placed on a tray with chocolates and candies. Each person kiss the "Niño Dios"  image and take some candies from the tray.

The dresses sold for this ceremony are similar to the ones babies wear for the baptism ceremony, but, we can also find dresses that represent different saints.

Dia de La Candelaria: This is the celebration of the presentation of Baby Jesus to the temple. Candles are blessed in this day and also people who found a baby Jesus doll in their piece of "rosca" on the 3 Wise Men Celebration organize a party where the main meal are tamales and atole.

Why tamales and atole in the Candlemas celebration? This very interesting article from Mexico Desconocido (shared by @copasycorchos) explains that the tradition of tamales and atole is a pre-hispanic tradition. tamales are made of corn and were offered to the gods by indigenous people in this day that was the first day of the year in the Aztec calendar. Tamales were also offered in different celebrations and it was the belief that man were made of corn by gods.
Candlemas Celebration - Tamales are served during this celebration

Baby Jesus dresses for the "Levantada" celebration

Barrio San Felipe de Jesus Festivity - Barra de Navidad

Barra de Navidad Barrio Patron Saint Philip of Jesus
"El Barrio de San Felipe te invita a la fiesta en honor de su Santo"

The neighborhood commonly known as "El Barrio" has a saint, and its name is actually Barrio San Felipe de Jesus (Philip of Jesus) in honor of this Mexican Martyr Saint who died in Japan in  February 5 1597.

There is Fiesta in el Barrio to celebrate San Felipe de Jesus. The celebrations are from February 2nd. till February 5th. in the San Felipe de Jesus church and the program is as follow: 

5:30 a.m. Fireworks
6:30 a.m. Rosary
7:00 p.m. Mass  
6:00 p.m. Pilgrimage and Floats starting by the High School walking to the church
8:00 p.m. Kermess, Loteria (Bingo), toritos (structure on a shape of a bull loaded with fireworks. A person carry the "torito" and chase people around when the fireworks are lit up ), castillos (towers with fireworks attached that form different colorful figures). 
San Felipe de Jesus church is located in Oceano Indico and Ejidatarios streets.

Everyboy is welcome! 
Pilgrimage in honor of Patron Saint St. Philip of Jesus in Barra de Navidad
Celebration in honor of Patron Saint St. Philip of Jesus in the barrio in Barra de Navidad
St. Philip of Jesus Chapel in barrio of Barra de Navidad - Celebration in honor of Patron Saint St. Philip of Jesus
Lighting up Fireworks "bombas" at 5 am and in the evening - Celebration in honor of Patron Saint St. Philip of Jesus in the barrio in Barra de Navidad