Thursday, December 15, 2005

Celebrating the Virgin's Birthday

I posted about the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Monday, focusing on how the Blessed Mother in general and Guadalupe in particular has become more significant and meaningful to me. But I have never attended a celebration of that feast day, so I was interested to read this diary at Booman Tribune by DucttapeFatwa...
Celebrating the Virgin's Birthday

For those who do not know the story, in 1532 a man named Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin of the Chimecheca tribe saw a vision of a lady on the spot where the Spanish invaders had destroyed the temple of Tonantzin the corn goddess. She gave him miraculous roses, imprinted her image on his cloak (the Tilma), and instructed him to tell the local Bishop that a cathedral should be built on this spot.

This particular December, I was privileged to attend such a celebration. Of course there was food, traditional Mexican platos like chile rellenos, cochinitas piviles, mole, and the Caribbean contingent made sure that no one lacked for black beans and rice, or those little knots of pork loin that only Cubans can make. But there were also wots from Ethiopia, huge dishes of rice with raisins, almonds and spices, lamb in cream, all from Kashmir, ground nut stew and corn cakes from Africa, chicken with pistaschios and saffron and cous cous from Yemen, pink potato salad and latkes from Russia, crunchy pakuras and spicy curries from India and Nepal, challah and tabouleh and falafel from Palestine and Israel, spaghetti and meatballs from Italy, little meat pies from Scotland and Jamaica (and lively discussion over which are best), dumplings and duckling from China, spring rolls and beef pho from Southeast Asia, and this year, crawfish etoufee, pralines and red beans and rice cooked with andouille, thanks to the Katrina survivors. Every item with a horizontal surface in the house and several surrounding it had to be brought in to accomodate the abundance of comestibles.

Click here for the rest.