A burgeoning cultural and culinary capital with a beautiful colonial core of lovely, tree-shaded streets, Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s most captivating cities. The following are 10 fun facts about Oaxaca city.
– Oaxaca is located about 48 minutes from Mitla, and 280 miles southeast of Mexico City where the Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre del Sur mountain ranges converge.
– Oaxaca weather is recognized for its mild, spring-like climate year round. The rainy season lasts from May through September, with rain generally in the afternoons. The coastal area remains hotter and drier, while temperatures high in the mountains remain colder year round.
– There are at least 18 indigenous groups in the state of Oaxaca, and all of them retain their own languages and traditions.
– Oaxaca’s primary industry is tourism.
– It is the state with the most biodiversity in Mexico, and has given rise to one of the biggest markets for ecotourism in Mexico.
– The Guelaguetza festival is held on the last two Mondays of July. During this time, communities from throughout the state present their regional costumes, dances, songs and music in an open-air theater built into the side of a hill.
– Night of the Radishes takes place on December 23rd. This festival features a contest in which participants present nativity and other scenes with the people and animals carved from radishes.
– Oaxaca’s best-known products is “mescal”, a drink similar to tequila but distilled from varieties of cactus other than the blue agave, which is used for tequila. The plant must be 6 to 8 years old before it can be harvested. Most bottles of mezcal include a worm, a practice that originated in the 1940’s when Jacobo Lozano Páez discovered that a worm enhances the flavor of mezcal.
– An unusual Oaxaca delicacy is “chapulines”, a dish consisting primarily of barbecued grasshoppers. After being cleaned and washed, they are toasted on a clay cooking surface with garlic, lime juice and salt. Sometimes the grasshoppers are also toasted with chili.
– Oaxaca is the main producer of chocolate in Mexico.