Posts in History & Traditions
History | The Mexican Flag

It's so interesting to me to be diving into Mexican culture and history as research for my trips to Mexico to produce more art. I really want to help enlighten and inform others about my Mexican roots.

I didn't really pay attention in history class when I was younger, but now I can't get enough. And let's be honest, how much of American history do you remember from your school days? I'm the first to admit I didn't retain much. 

Mexico's Flag Day is approaching on Feb 24th, so I thought it would be a good idea to look into the flag's history and share with you. 

The first national flag of Mexico was created in 1821 following its independence from Spain. While there are a few other flags that were used during the War of Independence from Spain, the first official use of a flag with the green, white and red colors was used after they won the war.

Green: The first in the three stripes signifies the Independence Movement and hope.

White: The middle stripe is to acknowledge the purity of the Catholic Faith and Mexico's strong devotion to it.

Red: The vertical bar to the right is a representation of the blood that was shed for Mexico by the revolutionaries for independence.  

The coat of arms: In the center of the white stripe is an eagle with a snake in its mouth. This is to recognize the Aztec heritage of Mexico. Aztec legend states that the gods advised the people to build a city on the spot in which they saw an eagle perched on a prickly pear tree eating a serpent. This spot is now known as Mexico City today.


Here are some variations that the Mexican flag has gone through before the current design that we know today was established.

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The first National Flag is from The First Mexican Empire from 1821 - 1823. The crown on the eagle's head signifies the empire under Agustin de Iturbide.

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The second National Flag was used during the establishment of the Mexican Republic from 1823-1863, 1867-1968. You can see the crown was removed and the serpent, oak and laurel branches were added.

 
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The third National Flag was from the Second Mexican Empire from 1863-1867. The eagles in the corners were added to look like the French Imperial arms but with a "Mexican flavor" 

There have been many variations during the evolution of the Mexican flag, but these are the main ones. The current flag is the one pictured at the top. All of this is so interesting to me and if you want, you can find out more at these sites:

Historical Flags of Mexico

Symbolism of the Mexican Flag

Wikipeida: Flag of Mexico

Thanks for following along, feel free to leave a comment about something that was interesting to you. Or if you end up doing research on your own culture's flag, I'd love to learn something new so leave a comment below. 


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Traditions | Loteria

Lotería is the Spanish word for lottery. The game originated in Italy in the 15th century and was brought to in the mid 1700's. Lotería used to be a hobby of the upper classes, but eventually it became a tradition at Mexican fairs, markets, and festivals.

The game of Lotería is similar to the game of bingo, but played with a deck of 54 cards with different images. Each tabla or board has a 4x4 grid of pictures with corresponding names and numbers. 

It's a really fun game to play. I remember loving it as a child. It was a good way for my parents to teach me Mexican nouns.

 
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Once you pick your "tabla" one person selects a random card from the deck and announces it to the players by its name. You can also say a riddle describing the picture instead of just naming the image. 

The chips used to mark off your spaces can be anything from small rocks to raw pinto beans. I remember using raw pinto beans to play this game as a kid  Similar to bingo, the first person with 4 chips in a row (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) and to call out "LOTERIA" wins the game. 

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I recently bought a game and thought it would be a great way to teach my kids some Spanish words. However, I was a little surprised to see some of the cards in there were a little questionable. I ended up taking two of them out completely because I just didn't think it was appropriate for my kids. There's actually this guy I've been following on Instagram that just launched The Millennial Lotería. It's pretty amazing. He's taken the traditional cards and gave them a "millennial" makeover. It's hard to describe, you'll just have to check out his site. I can't wait to buy one for myself!


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Traditions | Wedding Parade - Callejonada

I was in San Miguel last year when I happened to be in the main square as a wedding ceremony had ended and the Callejonada or wedding parade was starting. Being a wedding photographer, it was instinctual for me to pull out my camera and start shooting this fun part of the day (don't worry, I made sure to stay out of the actual photographers way).  

 
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Mexican culture is so rich with traditions and celebrations. Weddings are a huge celebration where religious customs are highly regarded. The sacrament of marriage is a serious event, which is why so much thought is poured into a wedding day and the celebration is extended to include friends, family, and even the whole town.

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One tradition that is practiced in some Mexican weddings, especially colonial towns, is a wedding parade which happens following the ceremony. The couple comes out of the church followed by the bridal party and the wedding guests. There's usually a mariachi band to accompany the procession, playing lively music so the guests can stop and dance along the way. 

Joining in on the walk is a donkey beautifully adorned carrying tequila to serve the wedding group. The wedding party walks with little shot glasses around their necks so they can enjoy tequila in celebration as they walk. This is like a pre-reception filled with lots of laughter, happiness, dancing and drinking. 

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The Callejonada (wedding parade) is an amazing tradition where the whole town comes out of their homes to celebrate and have fun with the newly married couple as they head to the reception. 

I'm so glad I was at the right place at the right time to capture these shots.


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