Saturday, June 15, 2024

En Breve Culture: ancient maps, surrealist art and a hot air balloon fest in Teotihuacán

The history of Mexico City in maps

If you’re interested in a glimpse of Mexico City during pre-Hispanic times, or at other moments in its centuries of history, the Usted está aquí (You are here) exhibit at the Museo de la Ciudad de México is for you.

The exhibit will run until March 2023, and showcases 12 historical maps of what is now Mexico City, dating as far back as the 16th century.

The main attraction is the Map of Nuremberg – a map of Tenochtitlan made in 1524, based on the letters of Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés.

A 1524 map of Tenochtitlan, known as the Map of Nuremberg. (Wikimedia Commons)

This is considered the oldest map of Mexico City, and shows some of the roadways built by the Mexica that still exist today, including the México-Tacuba, Tepeyac and the Iztapalapa causeway.

The exhibition seeks to recover the territorial memory of the city, starting from its origins.

Hot air balloon festival in Teotihuacán

On Dec. 17-18, the Club Campestre Teotihuacán, a country club, will host the Festival de Luz y Viento (Light and Wind Festival), an event that includes hot air balloons, giant kites and stargazing.

Starting at 6 am, the hot air balloons will be inflated, with take-off happening at 8 am. A food truck area will open at 7 am. During the day, workshops will be held, and there will be live jazz and blues music followed by the display of giant kites at 5 pm.

After sunset, a Christmas forest will be lit with sparkling lights, followed by a performance of ballet folklórico at 6:45 pm. At dusk, floating lamps will be released to fly above the lake, and then telescopes will be set up to see the stars. Participants can also camp at the site.

The ticket price ranges from $195 pesos (US $10) to $2,500 pesos (US $126) and more information can be found here.

Surrealist artist Remedios Varo at the Museum of Modern Art CDMX

“Disruptions of the Real”, an exhibit showcasing 39 works of art by surrealist Spanish painter Remedios Varo, is on display at the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City from now until March 2023.

The work of Spanish surrealist artist Remedios Varo on display at the Museum of Modern Art in CDMX. (Museo de Arte Moderno Twitter)

Remedios Varo (1908-1963), a Spanish refugee who had been imprisoned by the Nazis while living in Paris, painted most of her work in Mexico between the years of 1940 and 1950.

Some of the artist’s exhibitions have broken attendance records, and since 1964, many have been held in Mexico.

Noche de rábanos (night of the radishes) in Oaxaca

If you’re looking for an unusual Christmas tradition, you may want to try this one from Oaxaca city. Every Dec. 23 since 1897, gardeners have competed there to fashion the best Christmas scenes using carved radishes.

Yes, those are dancing radishes. (Gobierno de Oaxaca)

In recent years, judges have started accepting figures made with totomoxtle (husks of Mexican corn)

The event, which starts at 5 pm at the Plaza de la Constitución, lasts only a few hours and ends with an award ceremony amidst music and fireworks.

With reports from Chilango, MxCity, TimeOut México and Zona Turística.

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