Noche de Rábanos
, "Radish Night" is celebrated every December 23rd in the Oaxaca city Zócalo
. This festival originated in the market of the Vigilia de Navidad
, (Vigil of Christmas) which took place on the night before Christmas Eve. Vendors in the market would create beautiful and creative displays to attract clients to their stall. Radishes were carved and assembled to create figures and scenes, generally with a Christmas theme. In 1897 the mayor of Oaxaca City
organized the first formal exposition in which the curiously carved radishes were displayed for the public to enjoy. The custom was later formalized and turned into a contest. Nowadays a cash prize is awarded to the three best entries in the different categories: radish, totomoxtle
(corn husk), and flor imortal (dried flowers).