December 12 was a big day in Oaxaca. First of all, it was Virgin of Guadalupe Day – the day marking the appearance of the Virgin Mary to indigenous peasant Juan Diego in 1531, a huge deal in this state of 16 different indigenous groups. But it was also one of the few annual presentations of the Danza de la Pluma (Dance of the Feathers) in Teotitlán del Valle.
The parts that didn’t make the Christmas newsletter:
The Virgin of Guadalupe Festival, which rolled a street carnival, religious celebration and Christmas event all into one over-the-top happening. You could sing karaoke with Michael Jackson, get your picture taken with the Virgin and a donkey – but it was the Shrek Donkey (or with Santa Claus AND the Virgin), and eat a million kinds of fried junk food, ladled from huge vats of boiling oil that the throngs threatened to upend.