Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas in Maltrata, Veracruz

This year I spent Christmas for the second time with my "Maltrata family."

with Rosa María and Ana Patricia
I arrived the afternoon of the 24th (and it was colder than I expected!). First we celebrated Arturo's birthday with a birthday lunch and later that evening we celebrated Christmas.

Arturo and Ana Patricia
As I learned in 2011 when I spent Christmas in Maltrata, there is much more emphasis on the 24th as it turns into the 25th, as opposed to celebrating the day of the 25th like we do in the US.

(To read about my Christmas in Maltrata in 2011, click here).

Family came over around 10:00pm and after some snacks and drinks we sat down around 11:00pm for a delicious meal of pierna (pork leg?) adobadaespagueti verde (green spaghetti, made with a chili sauce), chiles rellenos (stuffed chili peppers), ensalada rusa (salad of potatoes, carrots, peas and mayonnaise), refried black beans, and ponche (a warm fruit punch traditionally enjoyed around Christmastime). For dessert we had a "salad" of apples, peaches, walnuts and cream and buñuelos (a light, crispy disk of fried dough, also a traditional treat at Christmastime).

the nativity scene
Around midnight, and after we finished dinner, we made our toasts and then sang a lullaby to the baby Jesus figures before giving them each a kiss and placing them in the nativity scene. Then it was time for lighting firecrackers out in the street!

the nativity scene 
The morning of the 25th the kids woke up to presents that Santa had left and we had lots of fun playing with them!







Can you guess who the Ravens shirts and foam football were from? ;)




What a throw! :)


That afternoon we went up to the terreno (big yard, really) for a picnic of leftovers and made a bonfire when the fog settled in and temperatures dropped.

That evening the viejitos started to come out. 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 (including the ones that stopped by) dance to popular music played on their cell phone or portable boom box.

viejitos
I had one more day to play before heading back to the DF for a few days. Next stop: Minatitlán, Veracruz! 

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