Football and Tamales Sunday (Dia de la Candelaria)

Every year, Super Sunday is a big day in football, and this year's will be no exception with the two arguably best teams getting to the final game.  But what makes this Sunday extra special for those with roots in Mexico isn't the game alone, but the idea that we'll get to watch it while enjoying some delicious tamales!

That's right, as many people know, February 2nd is the day we celebrate Dia de la Candelaria in Mexico, more famously known for the day we enjoy delicious tamales.  

As with many other traditions in Mexico, this one has its origins in the catholic church and, as also happens with many other traditions, has been adapted to fit Mexico's own culture.   Popular knowledge goes that Dia de la Candelaria is related to the presentation of baby Jesus to the temple of Jerusalem, which is commonly celebrated with a procession to church carrying lights or candles (candelas).  In Mexico, people who got a hidden baby figurine in the traditional Rosca de Reyes (commonly celebrated on January 6th to coincide with the visit of the Three Kings or Reyes Magos), should then organize a party and serve tamales and atole (not incidentally, both made of maize).   In some towns, people will take corn cobs to church to get blessed, in hopes for a good harvest (February 2nd also coincides with a celebratory day to the Gods in Aztec culture).   It is also accustomed that people will dress the baby Jesus from the house's Nativity and take it to the temple for Mass celebration, after which it would be taken back home and placed somewhere for the rest of the year, until the next Christmas.

So, there you go.   This Sunday, you can give your Football viewing party a new twist and entertain your guests with some delicious tamales.  At half time you can tell them the story of why this is a special Sunday to celebrate together.



PS:  You know what goes great with Tamales, right?  Salsa!

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