Tamales: A tradition steeped in history

usuario Alexia Arana

A tradition dating back to the Aztecs

You may wonder why we eat tamales every February 2. Traditionally every January 6, we share the “rosca” (sweet bread shaped in the form of a wreath) in the company of family and friends, at the time of cutting it, we wait expectantly for the moment in which someone will get the famous little doll (representing little Jesus), and thus find out who will be responsible for buying the tamales on the 2 of February, to become the famous 'Godfather / Godmother of the “child”.

Formerly, the Aztecs, believed that the Gods created us from corn, which is why always, at the beginning of the year, on the dates on which the harvest season began, they offered various foods prepared with corn, in which tamales abounded. This was to honor Chalchiuhtlicue, Tláloc, and Quetzalcóatl gods, in order to start the year well and attract the rains to their crops.

New traditions

With the arrival of the Spaniards, our ancient traditions began to change, to the point where we celebrate them today.

Everything starts from Christmas, where the birth of Jesus is celebrated, continues on January 6 with the visit of the Three Wise Men, which is when the “rosca is shared, and culminates in El “Día de la Candelaria”. Celebrated on February 2, the Day of Candlemas means the end of the Christmas celebrations, and it is when the 40 days of the birth of Jesus are fulfilled, and he was presented at the temple.

That is why each year, on this day, millions of Mexicans visit the church with their child God figures, ready to get them blessed and ready for the following festivities, such as Holy Week and Easter.

The important thing about these dates is to share with family and friends. Tamales have been an important part of our culture, and throughout the country there are different traditions, styles and types of tamales, tell us, how do you usually prepare your tamales?

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