Culture

Latinos Have Their Own Thanksgiving Traditions, Here’s a List!

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, meant to celebrate the (not so sweet) origins of our country. Although the history of this holiday is much less savory than turkey dinner, its message of gratitude is a positive one, and ain’t nothing wrong with a day devoted to food. Plus, the definition of “American” is rich and complex—and Latinx folks have roots that go much further back in our country’s history than the very first Thanksgiving. So…if Thanksgiving is an American celebration, it is definitely a Latinx celebration, and you don’t know Thanksgiving til you’ve indulged in some of these Latinx traditions.

Pairing a pernil with the turkey.

credit: Pinterest

Pernil is also popular around Navidad, but it’s not unusual to see one alongside the usual turkey. As either a pork roast or pork shoulder, this bad boy is marinated overnight and slow roasted for ultimate tenderness and flavor. IMO, the pernil is much more mouthwatering than that big stuffed bird—that is, unless the turkey is a serious pavochon (adobo and extra meat, anyone?).

Stuffing the turkey with chorizo or bacon or beef—or ALL OF THE ABOVE.

credit: Pinterest

That’s right—no bland bread-based stuffings in this bird. A proper Latinx turkey comes with ALLLL the meat (usually pork, though: pavo/turkey, lechon/pork). Not only can you create a delicious stuffing with this meaty mixture, but you can prepare the turkey as though it were a roast suckling pig, slathering it with adobo, sazon, garlic, and oregano. Buenísimo.

Serving some kind of rice as a side dish.

credit: thespruceeats.com

The stereotypical Thanksigiving menu comes with a lot of sides, but rice isn’t usually one of them (at least, not in non-Latinx homes). It’s definitely typical to see some type of rice—arroz verde, arroz con gandules, arroz amarillo, arroz con leche (though we’ll get to that later)—squeezed onto that very full, very tantalizing table.

Bringing mashed potatoes and/or mofongo.

credit: cookingchanneltv.com

Latinx families are broad and super diverse, hailing from all over North, South, and Central America. While they definitely bring their own cultural flavor to the Thanksgiving meal, dinner might still involve things like mashed potatoes. But how do you think mashed potatoes stand up to mofongo, that scrumptious, salty smash of fried plantain, garlic, and olive oil? We know the answer, but it’s also nice to have options.

Dressing up just to sit together in la sala all night.

credit: @wearemitu/Instagram

Everyone knows everyone, and everyone knows what everyone looks like sin arreglarse. Sometimes no one even leaves the house all day. Still, it’s somehow important to look nice for all the tíos.

Chismeando, chismeando, chismeando.

credit: @wearemitu/Instagram

This is obvious—what’s a holiday without gossip? Of course, everyone is talking a million miles a minute (almost definitely in Spanglish), reminiscing and telling stories and catching up. But that sweet, sweet chisme—it’s the bread and butter (well, the pan de bono) of the whole conversation. It’s sustenance, baby, and it never runs out.

Drinking a TON of alcohol. Seriously…a lot of it.

credit: esquire.com

Coquito? Tequila? Poncha caliente? Pisco sours? Refajo? Depends on what tu familia prefers, but those glasses are always full of some kind of boozy goodness. Thanksgiving is a time for gathering and recognizing all the things there are to be thankful for—for spending quality time with your loved ones. But for Latinx families, it’s also the perfect reason to throw a raucous fiesta.

Drinking plenty of non-alcoholic beverages, too.

credit: Goya.com

For the niños (or those who don’t drink), there is no shortage of traditional non-alcoholic concoctions at the Thanksgiving feast. From champurrado to atole de arroz, the options are limitless and perfectly seasonal—these potions warm you to your soul.

Bailando, bailando, bailando.

credit: Youtube.com

No matter what you’re drinking, you are probably dancing along with everyone else. Throughout the whole preparation of the meal, and the many hours after, la casa is bumping with salsa and bachata. The true champions are the tíos and primos and even los abuelos who can dance with a plate full of food in one hand, and a glass full of something in the other. Thanksgiving is lit, y’all.

Replacing stereotypical Thanksgiving desserts with an abundance of Latinx treats.

credit: Pinterest

Oh, yeah. Like the arroz con leche mentioned above, Thanksgiving desserts in Latinx households are the cherry on top of a truly magical meal. Instead of pies—pumpkin, apple, pecan, whatever—think flan (of any variety), turrónchurros, guava paste, pastel de tres lechesdulce de zapallo (and the list goes on and on). No matter how stuffed you are from dinner, there is always room for some of this good good.

No matter how your family celebrates, make sure to enjoy Thanksgiving with the people you love. Eat incredible food, drink yummy beverages, and dance the night away!

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Photo Of Volcanic Ash In The Shape Of La Calavera Catrina Is Going Viral

Culture

Photo Of Volcanic Ash In The Shape Of La Calavera Catrina Is Going Viral

@essmealvarez / Twitter / Public Domain

Latinos are nothing if not superstitious. We see signs everywhere and quickly believe anything our abuelas tell us. The latest manifestation that is catching everyone’s attention is the image of La Calavera Catrina in volcanic ash. The volcano erupted in Mexico and the shape of the ash is honestly impressive.

The Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico put on a special show recently.

A resident living near the volcano captured a photo that showed the volcanic ash creating that face of La Calavera Catrina. La Calavera Catrina is one of the most famous symbols of the Day of the Dead celebrations. It is really easy to see the shape taking form in the volcanic ash that is rising over the city.

Naturally, the image is making its way around the world via social media.

Social media is good for sharing things like this far and wide. The internet loves a volcano eruption and Latinos love a superstitious or traditional sightings. This is obviously heightened in 2020 when travel is impossible and omens are literally everywhere.

People are using the natural phenomenon to educate people about La Catrina.

La Calavera Catrina was not always associated with Día de los Muertos. It was originally drawn by artist José Guadalupe Posada as satire to call out Mexicans striving to be European. The description for La Calavera Catrina included the word garbancera, which was a name given to Mexicans who rejected their indigenous backgrounds. The description further calls attention to the Mexican women who, like La Catrina, wore big hats and used so much makeup that their faces looked whiter and whiter.

Over the years, La Catrina became a symbol for Día de los Muertos.

Over many years, Posada’s image has become a major part of the Día de los Muertos celebrations throughout Mexico. La Catrina was always known after her creation, however, it was Diego Rivera who made her famous. The artist created a mural in the historic center of Mexico City across from Alameda.

Rivera added the body and dress to Posada’s original creation. La Catrina stands between Rivera and Posada in the mural that was painted between 1946 and 1947.

The history lesson is a welcomed accompaniment to the stunning natural phenomenon.

Who doesn’t like to see pieces of our history shared far and wide? The history of La Catrina is another moment to dispel the myths and misconceptions people have of Mexican and Latino culture.

READ: ‘La Calavera Catrina’ Is Getting Her Own Parade For ‘Día De Muertos’ In Mexico City This Year And We Have All The Deets

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Latinas Talk About Their Fave Dance Craze

Culture

Latinas Talk About Their Fave Dance Craze

Lawrence Manning

There’s no denying the fact that dance has a pretty firm place in the hearts of just about every Latin American culture. Across our countries and cultures, and thanks to native and Afro roots, Latin Americans know how to toe step and grind better than the rest of them. From salsa and bachata to danzón and merengue dance has permeated our lives making parties, ceremonies, and even sad occasions some of the most memorable and colorful.

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we turned to Latinas to ask about their favorite dances from their cultures and how it has made their life better.

We posed the question “Latin America consists of many different cultural dances. What can you say about the ones from your país? We will be featuring your answers on one of our editorial pieces.⁠”

Check out the answers below!

“CUMBIA! And Joe Arroyo so beautiful said, ‘del Indio tiene la fuerza, y el Negro la fortaleza, que le imprime el movimiento.’”- lauraarendonn


“Ritmos africanos combinados con tambores pre-colombinos y la flambuya y elegancia de los gitanos y corte española. Mi herencia cultural es un sabroso pozole.”- mercedesmelugutierrez

“Chamamé, vanera… – Southern Brazil. Super important to the gaucho culture that southern Brazil shares with argentina and uruguay.”- its.lilas.world

“El baile de los viejitos, Michoacán, México.”- angelyly_



“Punta!! Like ‘Sopa de Caracol.’”- laura_gamez27

“Samba — originated in Brazil from men and women ( mostly from West African region) that were enslaved by Portugal — and brought to Brazil.”- la_licorne_en_velours_

“BOMBA!!! A style of dance in Puerto Rico heavily influenced by our African roots.”-xosamanthaotero


“Festejo… “- jesthefania

“Danza.”- karifornialove

“Cueca from Chile.”- calisunchine



“Huapango Arribeño- San Luis Potosí, Mexico.”-hijxsdetonatiuh



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