Alaska, Mexico and Beyond…

“One Journey Leads to Another”

Noche de Rabanos (Night of Radishes) 2016

Noche de Rabanos (Night of Radishes) is a splendid one day creative extravaganza unique to the city of Oaxaca. Imaginative people from around the state have been working on designs for many months, and on December 23 they display their artwork for the enjoyment and amazement of thousands of onlookers, plus they have a chance to win a prize!
Click on any image to enlarge or see a slide show.


Photo by Rick

We begin our day by eating breakfast in one of the outdoor restaurants that surround the zócalo, the main plaza of Oaxaca where the event takes place. We enjoy watching people construct and put the finishing touches to their depictions of daily life, history, religion, and culture. Some of the radish carvings are done at the last minute!   Every tiny piece of the work must be of natural materials – no wire or plastic – and most of the radish figures are held together with toothpicks.

There are three categories of materials: specially grown giant rabanos (radishes), flor inmortal (looks like what I know as straw flowers), and totomoxtle, or corn husks.

Some photos show entire displays so you can see how elaborate they are, and some are of small sections to show the incredible detail. Photographer friend Rick Impett contributed some excellent photos – thanks, Rick!



Photo by Rick










Photo by Rick

Living lives surrounded with artisans creating textiles, carvings, metalwork, pottery, painting, music and dancing, children of Oaxaca learn to become artists, musicians and craftspeople at a very young age. It’s wonderful to see!




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8 thoughts on “Noche de Rabanos (Night of Radishes) 2016

  1. Much different than the standard cherry belle radishes grown here.

  2. They are definitely funky! But oh, the creative possibilities…! I have to say, the variety of radishes that are sold to eat here are so tasty! I eat probably 50 times more than ever in my life.

  3. Wow. I love them. They are so cute. I am glad that You presented them.

  4. Thanks Marilyn,
    Again. an interesting & colorful article. Many thanks to you and to Rick for the excellent photos.
    Best wishes for the New Year to you, David & family.

  5. Lovely Marilyn! Happy New Year! Nicole

  6. Marilyn, I’m late to seeing this post, but loved seeing all that was created using the humble radish. Were there any special radish dishes on offer at this festival?

  7. Thanks, Tricia. I am so behind on reading/posting/everything that I don’t think I’ll ever catch up! The Noche de Rabanos is such a special event. The radishes are grown especially for it, and I think are given copious amounts of fertilizer to force them to grow large and weird. They are probably also are a particular variety, but I don’t know what. At this very moment those for this year’s event are beginning their growth!
    This type of radish is inedible, and no particular dishes are made with the normal ones, which are quite delicious and used mainly for salads and garnishes in soups.
    As you can see, people here are very creative and make interesting items out of almost anything!
    I’ll be sure to post photos from this year’s Rabanos, I’m glad you enjoyed them.

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