I realize that this post is terribly late but nevertheless, Happy New Year!
We were very lucky for the holidays this year because we had my parents visiting for Christmas and then our very dear friend, Eric Umble, here for New Years. Eric’s sister Kate recently married Raúl, who is from Mexico City. Eric, Kate, their parents, and Raúl came to visit Raúl’s family for the week between Christmas and New Years. Very nicely, they invited us to hang out with them on New Years Day and Eve. We started by taking Eric and Kate to Bellas Artes and then the Zócalo.
As always when visiting the Zócalo, it is absolutely necessary to go inside for a look at the Catedral Metropolitana. I had never seen this before but apparently, there is a pendulum that hangs from the (very high!) ceiling of the church to the floor. It marks the motion of the building on a piece of paper. Though you can’t actually feel it, the pendulum shows that the earth underneath this catedral is moving a lot!
Once outside of the Catedral, we took a moment to watch the dancers that are always located in the Zócalo. They dress in traditional Aztec attire and perform traditional Aztec dances.
After our tour through the Zócalo, we returned to Raúl’s family’s house to hang out for the rest of the day. His family was incredibly welcoming and we had a great time. It was very interesting for us because though we have been invited to people’s homes before here in México, this was the first multi-generational house that we have visited. It is even more interesting because that is very traditional here. At any rate, I’m not sure exactly how many people live in the house but apparently when the family bought it, they just continued to add another section to it as the family grew. We must have met at least twenty family members that night. The ladies of the house cooked a wonderful dinner for everyone and we took shifts eating since there were too many people for one table.
In addition to having champagne, the tradition in Mexico at the New Year is apparently to eat 12 grapes–one wish for each month of the upcoming year.
The toasting was especially nice because each adult gave one. Raúl had not seen his family in ten years, so each of the family members expressed how happy they were to see him again and how wonderful it was to meet Kate and her family. It was really lovely to see two families–very different in culture and language–coming together to celebrate like that. We were very happy to be a part of it!