Here’s a video that proves what we’ve known all along: tamales make everyone happy. During a recent trip to the local HEB grocery store, shopper John Castillo came across an HEB employee singing about tamales to the tune of the classic James Brown track “Get Up Offa That Thing.” Castillo did what most people would do: he recorded the experience and posted the video to his Facebook wall. The infectious energy of the unnamed employee — though her name tag says “Jewel” — caught on, and the video gained half a million views in just a few days. No word on whether or not “Jewel” has any songs up her sleeve about enchiladas or tacos, but that tamale track is definitely going on my playlist.
“Get up off of that thing, and get your hot tamales.”
This weekend was special for more than just the Super Bowl, it was Día de la Candelaria (aka. Candlemas). And I don’t know about you, but I stuffed my face with tamales—as is mandatory. Why is that important? Because this weekend, we also found out that more than 100 emojis will be available on Apple this year —and one of them is an actual tamale. Is it a rajas tamale? Or is it filled with mole? We’re not too sure, but what we are sure of, it that a tamale emoji is coming and we can’t wait!
Emoji is the fastest growing language in history.
Five billion emojis are sent every day, just on Facebook Messenger. And they’re appearing in some places you wouldn’t expect. One court judge in England used a smiley face emoji in a document to make it easy to explain the court’s decision to children —an actual fact. So it should come as no surprise, that emoji consortiums have formed to keep updating the language and including more and more elements to it.
Starting in the second half of 2020, users can insert a tamale Emoji into any conversation.
Whether you’re including it in a text conversation about making tamales during the holidays, or simply emphasizing your craving for one of the best Latinx dishes around, the option will be there before you know it.
Emojipedia confirmed the introduction of over 100 new emojis this year.
According to Emojipedia, the emoji reference website —yes, it’s a thing—this year we’re getting 117 recently approved new emojis. From a gender inclusive alternative to Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, named Mx. Claus, to a fondue, a bell pepper and a piñata emoji.
That’s right, Latinos are getting another emoji that illustrates our culture.
The Piñata emoji is coming in the shape of a Donkey—granted, it’s an old, clichéd reference, but hey, it’s iconic nonetheless. Get ready to dale dale dale because the paper maché burro will be available to add to your convos, this year.
The Christmas icon is not the only gender-neutral addition, btw.
The new emojis will also include a woman in a tuxedo, a man in a bride veil and a gender-neutral person feeding a baby. All of these emojis are also available in all skin tones.
A hearing aid emoji, wheelchair emoji and seeing eye dog emoji were in 2019’s new batch. A gender-neutral couple and various combinations of people with different skin colors holding hands were also made available last year.
Back in February 2019, the Unicode Consortium unveiled 230 new emojis with a majority representing people with disabilities and their needs.
They included hearing aids, prosthetic limbs and service dogs. It also included the option for interracial couples to mix and match skin tones.
New emojis are now added to the Unicode standard on an annual basis.
These emojis are proposed by different companies like Google, Apple and Twitter, and finalized by the start of the year. This allows ample time for these platforms to include these in future updates.
The first emojis debuted in October 2010
10 years ago, Unicode Consortium released 722 different designs, and the genre has come a long way since. In 2015, Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year was an emoji–the Face With Tears of Joy one. There’s also a World Emoji Day celebrated annually on July 17.
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Remember Día de Reyes when everyone cuts the rosca and hopes to god not to get the little niño Jesus? If you grew up Mexican, you probably know that whoever gets the baby Jesus figurine owes everyone tamales. But when is the tamal party? And most importantly—why? Keep reading to find out what El Día de la Candelaria means, what your abuelitas and tías are actually celebrating and how it originated —spoiler alert: it’s colonization.
February 2nd may be Groundhog Day in the United States, but in Mexico, and for many Latinos outside of Mexico, there is a completely different celebration on this date.
The religious holiday is known as Día de la Candelaria (or Candlemas in English). And on this day of the year, people get together with family and friends to eat tamales, as a continuation of the festivities of Three Kings’ Day on January 6.
This is why your abuelita dresses up her niño Jesús in extravagant outfits.
For Día de la Candelaria it’s customary for celebrants to dress up figures of the Christ Child in special outfits and take them to the church to be blessed. Día de la Candelaria is traditionally a religious and family celebration, but in some places, such as Tlacotalpan, in the state of Veracruz, it is a major fiesta with fairs and parades.
February 2nd is exactly forty days after Christmas and is celebrated by the Catholic church as the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin.
Alternatively, this day also counts as the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. The origin of this religious feast day comes from ancient Jewish tradition. According to Jewish law, a woman was considered unclean for 40 days after giving birth, and it was customary to bring a baby to the temple after that period of time had passed. So the idea is that Mary and Joseph would have taken Jesus to the temple to be blessed on February second, forty days after his birth on December 25.
The tradition goes back to around the 11th Century in Europe.
People typically took candles to the church to be blessed as part of the celebration. This tradition was based on the biblical passage of Luke 2:22-39 which recounts how when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple, a particularly devout man named Simeon embraced the child and prayed the Canticle of Simeon: “Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” The reference to the light inspired the celebration of the blessing of the candles.
In Mexico Día de la Candelaria is a follow-up to the festivities of Three Kings Day on January 6th.
On Día De Reyes, when children receive gifts, families and friends gather together to eat Rosca de Reyes, a special sweet bread with figurines of a baby (representing the Child Jesus) hidden inside. The person (or people) who received the figurines on Three Kings Day are supposed to host the party on Candlemas Day. Tamales are the food of choice.
This tradition also carries Pre-Hispanic roots.
After the Spanish conquistadors introduced the Catholic religion and masked indigenous traditions with their own, to help spread evangelization, many villagers picked up the tradition of taking their corn to the church in order to get their crops blessed after planting their seeds for the new agricultural cycle that was starting. They did this on February 2, which was the eleventh day of the first month on the Aztec calendar —which coincidentally fell on the same day as the Candelaria celebration. It’s believed that this is why, to this day, the celebratory feast on February 2 is all corn-based —atole and tamales.
This date is special for other reasons too…
February 2, marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, which aligns with the pagan holiday of Imbolc. Since ancient times, this date was thought to be a marker or predictor of the weather to come, which is why it is also celebrated as Groundhog Day in the United States. There was an old English saying that went “if Candlemas be fair and bright, Winter has another flight. If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Winter will not come again.” In many places, this is traditionally seen as the best time to prepare the earth for spring planting.
In Perú the Fiesta de la Candelaria is a festival in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of the city of Puno and it is one of the biggest festivals of culture, music, and dancing in the country.
The huge festival brings together the Catholic faith and Andean religion in homage to the Virgin of Candelaria. The Virgin represents fertility and purity. She is the patron saint of the city and is strongly associated with the Andean deity of ‘Pachamama’ (‘mother earth’). It is this common factor of both religions that brings them together for the festival. In 2014, UNESCO declared the festival an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The main dates of ‘Fiesta de la Candelaria’ are February 2nd – 12th.
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