Art & Culture

Flowers in Mexican Art and Culture (Part 1)

From murals to death itself, they have decorated every aspect of Mexican life for centuries

The privileged geography of Mexico is in an exceptional place of biodiversity: climate, soil, animals, plants, and a variety of 20,000 to 30,000 species of flowers. Flowers have held an important place in culture and art: in medicine, gastronomy, decoration, and as an artistic motive for pottery, glass, wood, or the colored flowers of Guerrero, made from cornhusks, among other techniques. The famous Mexican artist, Diego Rivera, put calla lilies (although not Mexican in origin) in scenes of indigenous Mexicans, who saw a resurgence in Rivera’s time.

datoThe national flower of Mexico is the colorful and beautiful dahlia. Other flowers originating from Mexico are the tuberose and the orchid, which has 700 varieties in Chiapas alone. The cultivation of flowers in Mexico dates back to the Prehispanic era. It had an important place in daily life, celebrations, and mythology. For example, the god Xochipilli (Náhuatl word for “prince of the flowers”, Xochitl – flower, pilli – child or prince), who was the god of love, games, beauty, dance, flowers, pleasure, and art. Another example is the goddess Xoxhiquetzalli (goddess of the flowers). Even today, the name Xóchitl is a very common name for girls.

A place of tradition in Mexico is Xochimilco (place of flower or earth planted with flowers), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the main tourist attractions of Mexico City.

Since prehispanic times, there has been a festival related to flowers. Xochimilco was a provider of food and flowers for the Aztecs, and later for Mexico City during the colonial period, cultivated on chinampas and transported by a system of canals. Currently, there is the flower fair, with more than 60 years of tradition.

Also in  Mexico City is the famous flower market of Jamaica, where you can find the largest variety of flowers from various states within Mexico.

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