Even before I saw the caption on this postcard I was reminded of our first Christmas outside Canada. It was 1986 and Laurent had been posted to Mexico City that August. I headed down in mid-December for the holiday season. We have so many great memories of that Christmastide, though at the time the episodes with the turkey and the backfiring Roman candle didn’t seem so funny. But more about them another time.
As with most countries Mexico had its Christmas traditions, many of them Spanish in origin but made richer by the Otomi and other native cultures. One particularly Mexican tradition is the Pastorelas or Shepherd’s plays that were presented during Christmas. A transplant from Spain they tell the story of the Shepherds and their journey to Bethlehem. A journey made perilous by the Devil, who attempts to thwart them at every turn. Told in verse, song, dance and laced with jokes and slapstick routines it always ends with the defeat of old Satan and his bumbling cohorts (what a surprise) and the Shepherds and audience coming together to adore the Christ Child. In a few places it is completed by Las Posadas – a candle lit procession ending in food, drink, pinatas and often fireworks. It was a tradition we embraced wholeheartly in the time we were there.
30 dicembre – San Ruggero di Canne