Donkeys were introduced into Mexico by the Europeans. It is believed they arrived around 1521. They immediately found ideal conditions in Mexico to reproduce.
They were vital in the development of Mexico. In rural areas, almost every household had a donkey.
Since then, they have become an essential part of various activities, mainly economic.
Technological advances in agriculture, have displaced donkeys in Mexico, such that they are close to extinction. In 1991, there were over 1 million in the country of Mexico.
Currently, there are only about 300 thousand donkeys left.
Did you know?
Donkeys are highly intelligent.
Donkey Sanctuary in Mexico
Burrolandia is a donkey sanctuary in Mexico. Burrolandia is the only donkey sanctuary in the world that serves as a refuge for donkeys. It is located in the town of Otumba, in the state of Mexico.
Here, donkeys romp among visitors, roll around in the dirt and allow visitors to embrace them. The sanctuary has been conditioned to be a magical place so that people can understand the history of donkeys in Mexico.
The idea originated because Otumba is known as the land of donkeys. In the past, there was market of donkey exchange. Every year in the month of May, for more than 50 years, the Feria del Burro is held.
The majority of the donkeys rescued are grey, brown, and black.
In December, poinsettias are seen all over the world. Did you know poinsettias are indigenous to México?
The poinsettia is distinguishable in the month of December, in Mexican customs and traditions, where it is known as Flor de Nochebuena, the Christmas flower.
The scientific name is Euphorbia pulcherrima, of the euphorbiáceas family of the plant kingdom. (The plant family Euphorbiáceas is composed of over 7200 species, distributed all over the world, and most abundant in warm regions.)
The poinsettia is one of the most cultivated plants in the world, and varies according to the region in which it is grown.
The poinsettia is indigenous to tropical regions in México, principally the municipality of Taxco, in the state of Guerrero.
Known to the Aztecs as Cuetlaxóchitl (which means xochitl flower of cuetlaxtli leather hide/leatherskin; due to the rough consistency of the petals), it was used in traditional medicine, ceremonies and rituals. Dyes were made from the petals and it was also offered to the Sun god.
It was in this locality of the state of Guerrero, where historians believe Spanish Franciscan priests adorned nativity scenes with these plants during the Christmas season in the 1500’s .
Since the sixteenth century the plant and leaves are used as a medicinal plant. Its leaves are also used for wounds and injuries.
In 1828, Joel Robert Poinsett, the first American ambassador in México, took many poinsettia plants to the United States and so began its widespread fame. Prior to his arrival the plant was known as the “Mexican flame flower”.
In México, the plant is known by at least 15 names, including various indigenous terms.
The poinsettia is a shrub. It can grow to a small tree size, to 4 meters in height. The plant consists of a milky liquid. The leaves are dark green, oblong, in a dentate shape. The brachts which are leaves borne on a floral axis, subtending a flower cluster, appear as flower petals; due to the variety of pigmentation and groupings.
The plant cannot receive direct sunlight. The brachts require darkness/abundant indirect lighting prior to changing color. The influorescent plants then change leaf color from dark green to intense red with abundant sunlight. The plants require minimum watering.
The brachts cannot get wet, otherwise they will stain.
México is the only place in the world where wild ponsettias grow, although the natural habitat of wild poinsettias is becoming increasingly fragmented.
The natural state of poinsettias runs along the Pacific coast, from the state of Sinaloa to the country of Guatemala, and from the center of the state of Guerrero to the south of the state of Morelos.
Poinsettias are mainly cultivated in the states of Morelos, Michoacán, Jalisco, Puebla, the state of México and México City.
Due to the economic importance, cultivation, growth, and storage methods have been efficiently perfected, such that poinsettias are sent to many parts of the world.
Currently, México occupies the fourth place in the world of poinsettia cultivation. Commercialization takes place for about six weeks of the year and most potted plants are sold around the world.
México produces more than 30 varieties. The most common are Freedom, Subdiji and Prestige Red (the traditional poinsettia). The majority of poinsettia varieties are exported to the United States.
These varieties represent 70 percent of the poinsettia production in Mexico City. Others include Joy Pink, White Red Angel y Festival, varieties of diverse colors such as red, yellow, pink, white, striped and marbled.
Furthermore, Mexican producers are currently working on the development of unique varieties.
Mexico is renowned for its beautiful handcrafted mirrors. They are set in various forms, talavera tile, tin, crafted wood, painted wood, copper and metal. Sources of traditional and creative designs are San Miguel de Allende, Taxco, Guadalajara and Oaxaca.
Mexico is renowned for its beautiful handcrafted mirrors.
Traditional blown glass spheres and decorations are created in two magical towns in Mexico. Blown glass spheres is a technique used to model spheres.
The leading producer of artisanal blown glass Christmas spheres and decorations in Mexico is a Magical town known as Chignahuapan. It is located in the northern highlands region of the Mexican state of Puebla.
The town of Chignahuapan has more than 200 workshops and factories and produces more than 3 million boxes of blown glass spheres per year.
The price of each piece or set of pieces depends on the craftsmanship of the models and materials. Blown glass spheres and decorations come in a variety of colors and sizes.
Handmade blown glass spheres and decorations Made in Mexico come in a variety of colors and sizes.
Workshops produce a variety of traditional round blown glass decorations of different colors. Most are decorated with paint or creatively filled with material such as straw, feathers or corn husks. Some are in the shape of cartoon characters, while others have a light inside. When an original piece is requested, artisans may take up to more than a day to complete the piece.
On weekends, shops lined on streets of the center of town sell their latest models.
Most blown glass decorations are decorated with paint.
Another Magical town, Tlalpujahua is located in the eastern region of the Mexican state of Michoacan. It is famous for the skill of its blown glass artisans. In this Magical Town, the tradition of elaboration of spheres has existed for more than three decades.
Artisans are skilled in the manner with which they decorate the blown glass spheres. They create amazing designs. Here, artisans make each of the pieces manually, which makes them even more special.
There are about 200 workshops and throughout the year there are other applications (mainly metal and wood) to accommodate the spheres.
The León International Balloon Festival (FIG Festival Internacional Del Globo) is a family-friendly event that welcomes thousands of people every day.
The Leon International Balloon Festival (FIG Festival Internacional Del Globo) is considered the most important in Latin America.
The FIG started in 2002.
At that time, the first 25 hot air balloons were a great attraction. In 2011, the youngest hot air balloon pilot in the world, Bobby Bradley, participated in the FIG (Festival Internacional Del Globo).
Every year, something eventful happens. Notably, the Leon International Balloon Festival is considered one of the most popular and most important in Latin America.
The FIG features more than 200 hot air balloons. Preparation for takeoff begins at 5 am.
Photo credit: FIG official website
Pilots from 15 different countries participate and the event is seen by over 400,000 spectators.
Hot air balloons decorate the León sky for several days.
The Leon International Balloon Festival is the largest in Latin America.
Globally, it is considered the largest Air Station Festival.
In addition to hot air balloons, the León International Balloon Festival features various shows, a light and music show, workshops, artists, night shows, and other events.
See for yourself how hot air balloons fill the sky in León, a breathtaking and magical event.
When does the 2023 León International Balloon Festival take place?
The FIG is one of the most eagerly awaited events by lovers of mega events. It takes place every year on the 2nd weekend in the month of November.
This year the FIG dates are November 17 to 20, 2023.
On Friday, November 17th , the official Inauguration of the FIG takes place.
Photo credit: FIG official website
Where does the 2023 León International Balloon Festival take place?
The FIG (Festival Internacional Del Globo) takes place in Metropolitan Park (Parque Metropolitano de León)
León, Guanajuato, Mexico
Note: The city of León, Guanajuato is the shoemaking capital of Mexico.
2023 León International Balloon Festival Tickets
Like every year, admission has a cost and tickets are now available.