Things That Matter

This Navidad Theme Park Features ‘Las Posadas’ And ‘Reyes Magos’ And I Want To Go

It looks like the people of Guadalajara love a theme-park. Earlier this month the capital city of Jalisco, hosted the ‘Dia de Muertos’ themed amusement park; ‘Calaverandia’. And now, from the same creators, we‘re getting  ‘Navidalia’ a Christmas-themed amusement park full of lights, fake snow and vibrant shows.

The park will be divided into four Yuletide-inspired worlds, the flagship of which will be that of Mexican Christmas traditions.

Much like Disneyland, which is divided into kingdoms, the Mexican Christmas-themed park will be divided into four Yuletide-inspired worlds, the flagship of which will be that of Mexican Christmas traditions, called “Posada Navideña”. Another world will be dedicated to the holiday’s Nordic origins.

Attendees will be able to see a recreation of baby Jesus’s birthplace in Bethlehem.

Naturally, for a predominantly Catholic country, one of the worlds will recreate the Middle Eastern atmosphere of Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem, this section of the park will also include a show featuring the three wise men, known in Mexico as “Los Reyes Magos.” The fourth world will celebrate European Christmas traditions.

It wouldn’t be a Mexican Christmas without a ‘Nacimiento’.

A standout display will be a giant nativity scene, in which the spectators will also be part of the decorations. There will also be a giant Christmas tree, an ice road (not rink) for ice skating around the park, a large lake in the park will be used for boat rides and dance presentations. The organizers spared no efforts to get the best artificial snow. They said in an interview with a Mexican newspaper that they hope that the artificial snow will help kindle the Christmas spirit in the hearts of visitors.

‘Navidalia’s parent company has also produced other theme parks and events like ‘Calaverandia’.

In addition to Calaverandia, the Day of The Dead theme park, Alteacorp —the parks’ parent company— has also organized Festival GDLuz, which lights up Guadalajara in an array of bright colors in February. The company hopes to repeat the success of those festivals with Navidalia in December.

Alteacorp CEO Marcos Jiménez said that the group wanted to offer something different from stereotypical U.S. Christmas celebrations. Instead, they chose to focus on creating multisensorial journeys dominated by images of a very Mexican-infused Christmas.

Such imagery and customs will include traditional lanterns, piñatas, warm fruit ponche, the sweet fried snacks called buñuelos and the Latin American Christmas observance of Las Posadas. Other attractions will include an 18m tall Piñata which will offer a light show, 8 meter tall ‘Reyes Magos’, a medieval Santa Clause and 30 other attractions spread across the 4.5 acres that make the theme park grounds.

Visitors must buy a ticket to take part in the park’s attractions at night, but the grounds will be open to the public free of charge during the day. Tickets cost 255 pesos (US $13) for children and 495 pesos (US $26) for adults. VIP tickets cost 685 and 1,999 pesos respectively. Discounted presale tickets will be on sale until November 18. Navidalia runs from December 13-25 at Parque Ávila Camacho in Zapopan.

Latinos Know How To Celebrate The Holidays, But Some Of The Traditions Might Be Too Weird For Gringos

Culture

Latinos Know How To Celebrate The Holidays, But Some Of The Traditions Might Be Too Weird For Gringos

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Navidad for Latino families is a very different affair to Christmas in Anglo culture. For once, the religious aspect is much more prevalent, as Catholicism is the predominant belief and the birth of Jesus is possibly the most important date of the year (save, perhaps, the death of said religious figure in Semana Santa). Navidad among Latinos both in the United States and throughout Latin America is full of quirky family traditions that both make it more solemn and more fun. Some of these traditions are of course heritage from the Spanish colonial years,  but each country and even each family has put their own little twist. 

New Year’s Eve is also a very lively celebration that includes some strange and fun mumbo jumbo that is totally normal for many of us but might be a bit too peculiar for others. 

So here are some traditions that might get your gringo Xmas or New Year’s date running out the door!

Actually nothing says holiday season in a Latino family like the Guadalupe-Reyes marathon.

Credit: Screenshot. KeepCalmAndPosters.com

They say honesty is the best policy, right? Well, this isn’t an actual sporting event but the official start of the holiday season. The “marathon” is an eating and drinking fest that runs from the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe in December 12 until January 6, the day of the Reyes Magos or Three Wise Men. Get your stomach and your liver ready. En sus marcas, listos, fuera…  

When all the familias bring their Baby Jesus figurine and rock them all together as if they were real babies.

Credit: Digital Post

Let’s not forget the massive one that recently went viral in Mexico…

Also dressing Baby Jesus in all sorts of outlandish costumes.

Credit: @EldeForma / Giphy

Sorry (not sorry!) this can be a bit sacrilegious for some, but this gif was just too good not to share.  

Well, this is actually the sort of costume they put on Baby Jesus.

Credit: Mercado Libre

Abuelitas all over Mexico flood markets to find the best dress maker for their Baby Jesus. There is a non-spoken rivalry among households that abuelitas settle by making Baby Jesus look like a tiny Liberace (sorry, but it is true!). 

Sing the traditional Posada… or more like mumble the words hoping that the chismosos de la familia don’t figure it out.

Credit: Yucatan Holidays

The traditional posada is a song where the guests are split into two groups. One remains inside the house while the other braces the cold and stays outside. One group is supposed to represent Mary and Joseph asking to be let in, the other group takes the place of the homeowners who are not too sure to let strangers in. There is a back and forth and finally the strangers are let in and everyone sings “Entren santos peregrinos”. We are sure that half the party is mumbling the words. Hey, they even got some Latin! 

Now it is New Year’s Eve and you better wear your chones rojos.

Credit: Ali Express

Legend goes that if you want to enjoy a good sex life in the coming year, you need to wear red underwear to welcome the coming calendar. Supermarkets and department stores in Latin America are bursting with red men’s underpants and women’s lingerie. Rest assured if you bring a gringo date to the New Year’s fiesta, your primos will make sure they feel uncomfortable as hell my asking them whether they are wearing chones rojos or not! Awkward alert!

And you better be ready to haul those empty suitcases around the block at the strike of midnight!

We kid you not. Wanna have plenty of travelling in the coming year? Well, get your empty suitcases ready and take a walk around the block with them. If you think about a destination then your trip might come true. Wanna have a sexy escapade? Wear your red underwear while dragging the luggage! Makes all the sense in the world, right? Just be careful not to wake up the neighbours… come to think about it chances are they are dragging their empty maletas as well. 

Swipe away the bad vibes! Afuera lo malo, que venga lo bueno!

Every year has its ups and downs. So whether you like it or not there is some bad juju that has accumulated in your household. You clearly wanna start the year afresh and the only way to do this is to swipe off las malas vibras. Just go to the entrance of your house, pour some water on the floor and expel it to the outside world! Now, we don’t know if this is metaphysically effective or not, but it sure is cathartic.  

This Día De Muertos Themed Amusement Park Is Next Level ‘Coco’ And I Want To Go

Culture

This Día De Muertos Themed Amusement Park Is Next Level ‘Coco’ And I Want To Go

calaverandia / Instagram

Just like a scene in the movie Coco, imagine neon lights, skulls, candy, cempasúchil, Catrinas and Catrines, ofrendas and lots of rides and rollercoasters. Day of The Dead is a huge celebration, and some think that it shouldn’t be exclusive to cemeteries and plazas. This vision of a Mexican-insired ‘inframundo’ is actually a real theme park in Mexico. Here’s everything you need to know about Calaverandia. 

‘Calaverandia’ takes visitors through an immersive experience inspired by the ancient Aztec’s take on the underworld.

Like a tour of the underworld, Calaverandia, is a theme park that takes visitors through the Aztec netherworld of Mictlan. The park is open to visitors this year again, after its initial inaugural run in 2018.  “We’re very proud that Calaverandia was a success last year,” said the park’s creative director, Marcos Jiménez. “We have big plans for growth.”

Located in Jalisco, the Day of The Dead theme park is packed with ofrendas, rides and music.

Located in Guadalajara —a city known for tequila and mariachi music— this year’s Day of the Dead theme park Calaverandia will feature over 30 attractions, including immersive tours through the underworld, exhibitions of altars and decorated skulls, live music, a neon lights area, ball pits and more.

The park’s main showpiece ‘El Inframundo’, or The Underworld, was expanded 50% over last year due to its success.

The immersive experience takes visitors through the Aztec netherworld of Mictlán. In Aztec and Mayan mythology, the underworld (Xibalba for the Mayams and Mictlan for the Aztecs) played an important role in everyday life. According to these ancient peoples’ beliefs, death was closely incorporated into the world of the living and death is evident in almost every aspect of Aztec and Mayan philosophy, culture and tradition.

According to ancient Aztec mythology; after death, souls had to endure a long journey through Mictlan.

Mictlantecuhtli is the Aztec god of the dead, and next to his wife, Mictecacíhuatl, he ruled Mictlan, the underworld. According to their beliefs, Mictlan consists of nine distinct levels. The journey from the first level to the ninth is difficult and would take four years to complete. The dead must overcome many challenges, but the gods bestowed them with a guide, the psychopomp Xolotl — a Xoloiscuintle dog, who got his own role in Disney’s Coco as Dante.

‘Calaverandia’ is an adventure-filled ‘skull land’ that takes visitors through Mictlan-worthy journeys across the netherworld.

The theme park features a 4-D show called Alma, which will tell the ancient history of the Day of the Dead traditions. There will also be a seven-meter-tall alebrije statue, photography areas, themed characters, videomapping and Catrina shows, canoe tours and cultural games for the kids. The interactive cemetery has also been expanded to include activities for children, and there will be lots of traditional Mexican delights in the food court.

To top off the experience, there will be mariachi and lots of traditional Mexican food.

A mariachi band will play traditional songs every hour at the park’s main altar to the dead, and will perform tributes to famous Mexican singers who have now passed away, such as Juan Gabriel —and more recently, José José.

‘Calaverandia’ has been well-received by the public and organizers are expecting a surge in attendance this year.

Last year’s park saw around 3,000 visitors a day — about 40,000 in total, but the organizers are expecting that number to rise to 4,000 daily visitors this year, so they have extended the hours park’s opening hours of from 7:00pm-12:00am Sunday to Thursday, and 7:00pm-1:00am on Saturday.

Calaverandia will run from Friday, October 25 to Monday, November 18 —the only Monday on which it will open. Tickets cost 255 pesos (US $13) for children and 595 pesos for adults; VIP options are available.

The park might be coming to LA in the near future.

After being received with such positive feedback from visitors and seeing the park’s growing popularity in Guadalajara, ‘Calaverandia’ creators have big plans for the years ahead. “We’ve been asked to organize a Calaverandia in Los Angeles in 2021, and we have spoken with people in Chicago and even Madrid,” said the park’s creative director, Marcos Jiménez. “We’re in a really cool process of growth.”