In Miami, The Mayor Is Upholding A Pretty Cute Tradition Based On Cuban Celebrations And It Will Remind You Of Groundhog’s Day

We Latinx people tend to do things a little bit differently than the rest of the world. When we mourn the dead, we do it with colorful and lively celebrations focused on our loved ones’ lives. When we have a child’s birthday party, you better believe there’s going to be a good amount of cerveza and other alcoholic libations flowing for the tios and tias to enjoy. Even when it comes to other traditions not typically assigned to us, the Latinx community finds a way to make it all our own and do it up in style. 

That’s what Miami Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez did this morning when he participated in the 2nd Annual Pig Pardoning Ceremony.

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In the event held Monday morning at the Latin Café 2000 Brickell (an essential Cuban restaurant and involved part of the Latin community in Miami), the mayor spared the two pigs that would have otherwise faced slaughtering. Named Peppa and Petra, the pigs posed for pictures Mayor Gimenez and proved to be real hams for all the attention that we offered by the attending press. 

The celebration of Noche Buena is what encourages the yearly pardoning of these little piglets during this time of year. 

Emily Blanck / Deep Sleep Studio PR

Throughout Latin America, the night of Christmas Eve is celebrated with a large feast. During celebrations throuout the countries that make up the Latinidad, roasted pigs, or lechón, are at the center of these enormous parties. This is thought to be dated back to the 15th century when Caribbean colonists and natives joined together to celebrate by hunting down pigs and roasting them on open spits. While many places still embrace this rustic cooking technique, Peppa and Petra won’t be going anywhere near an open flame this year. 

This piggy pardoning mimics a very American turkey tradition. 

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The tradition of pardoning the presidential turkey is one that the White House has upheld every year since the days of President George H. W. Bush. The presentation of the Presidential Turkey dates all the way back to the 1940’s, however; presidential pardons weren’t as common for those birds back then. They were more likely to become dinner than to end up in a petting zoo or as someone’s pet.

“We’re a little different here in Miami-Dade. We don’t pardon turkeys, we pardon piglets,” Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, of Miami-Dade County, Florida, said during the pardoning. “They will live a long and happy life in the sanctuary.” 

It’s Mayor Gimenez’s partnership with the community that has made this pardoning possible. 

Emily Blanck / Deep Sleep Studio PR

This is just the second annual pardoning of piglets that the Miami-Dade County has performed but it’s far from the last. The event is a labor that is invested in by community staple, the Latin Café 2000 Brickell, as well as by the dedicated individuals at Aguacate Sanctuary of Love. 

A vegan cafe and animal shelter, Aguacate Santuary of Love is the organization that rescued the two lucky swine from a local slaughterhouse. In fact, Aguacate has promised to give the two rescued piggies a full life, complete with plenty of space to run and play and with no possibility of becoming someone’s Christmas Eve feast anytime in the future. 

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