Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Holiday traditions in Maltrata: Los viejitos

From December 25th through 31st people dress up as viejitos, or little old men and women, and go door-to-door dancing and asking for treats or money. Traditionally, they should be dressed as an old man and old woman that represent the end of the year that will “die” soon for the coming of the new year.

There’s a typical song that the viejitos are supposed to sing, but now a lot more dance to popular music played on their cell phone or a portable boom box. My favorite part of the visits from the viejitos became the scolding they would get from the grandmother of the family, who would tell them that it wasn’t the right song or that they didn’t look like they were about to die so she wasn’t going to give them any money or treats.

I’ve been told that in other parts of Veracruz they’re also accompanied by a “doctor” and in the middle of the dancing the old woman lays down on the floor and delivers a baby(doll) that represents the new year. 

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