By Marcia Chaiken and Jan Chaiken
December 2012 has arrived, and some say if you don’t read this article before the 21st, you will have missed your chance. According to those people, December 21st is the last day ever on the Mayan calendar– the day the world will end.
From the earliest times to the present, predictions of the end of the world have always captured enough attention to sell books, gain followers for a leader, inspire works of art, literature, or music, and boost tourism to the place where the end is coming. But if you are more interested in being correct than in momentary fame or wealth, you know it is not prudent to predict the end of the world on a certain day – if you are right, no one will be around to recognize your accomplishment, and if you are wrong, everyone will know. Continue reading The End of the World
By Carol Reedy
Mexican holidays are a mix of emotions. Underlying the boisterous parties and celebrations are quieter pursuits: silence, reflection, respect, and prayer.
It all starts December 12 and continues until January 6. In D.F., thousands of brilliant red poinsettias line the streets of Reforma, and decorations adorn every part of the city. Closer to Christmas, nacimientos (manger scenes) find a home on Reforma also.
Trying to conduct business in the capital during this time? Take a pass—it won’t happen. It is also wise to make hotel and restaurant reservations far in advance. There’s something for everyone and, as is the tradition in this great city, many of the events are free of charge to the public. Continue reading December in D.F: A Time to Celebrate and Reflect
By Julie Etra
Tagetes erecta, the Mexican marigold, also called Aztec marigold, is native to Mexico and Central America although it is frequently and mistakenly called African marigold. The common name Cempasúchil (also spelled cempazúchil) is derived from the Nahuatl term for the flower zempoalxochitl, which means “twenty flower”. This is an interesting name as the flower is in the composite family (Asteraceae) along with many common flowers such as daisy, coneflower, yarrow, and dandelion. Continue reading Cempasuchil/ Calendula/ Marigold: Flower of the Dead
By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.
Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) in the City of Oaxaca is one of the most exhilarating and interesting festivals anywhere in the world. While it’s difficult to miss out on any of the major “muertos” activities without pre – planning, most travelers to Oaxaca for Day of the Dead want advance advice and assurances, rather than wait until their arrival in the city. Once you have your accommodations, and have selected a couple daytime tours in advance, all you’ll need is this primer to know what’s in store for you, and when; whether cemeteries, comparsas, altars or tapetes. Continue reading Day of the Dead in Oaxaca: One of Mexico’s Most Fascinating Traditions
By Marcia and Jan Chaiken
Around the time that most of Mexico is observing Semana Santa, the holy week leading up to Easter, the Jewish population of Mexico (over 60,000 people in 2010) is celebrating Passover, a joyous eight days on the Jewish calendar. Passover is the celebration of release of the Israelite nation from enslaved captivity in Egypt over 3000 years ago. Continue reading Passover
By Caryl Delaney
Epiphany, Three Kings Day, Little Christmas or Dia del los Reyes is celebrated in many ways around the world. The traditions of this celebration – including the actual date of celebration – vary as greatly as those of Christmas do. Most countries and cultures share the idea that Jesus was visited by the Magi, but after that the meaning of this day branches off into a myriad of directions. Continue reading 3 Kings Round the World