Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Birthday Tradition Mexico Style

Here in Mexico Birthdays are like Holidays - festival required. We have a lot of people here in Chino's family and end up having a birthday party at least 2-3 times a month. One of the things I've come to learn about the birthday traditions, something that happens at EVERY birthday party no matter your age, is the cake tradition.

If it's your birthday you will have your face smashed into your cake. No exceptions.

It cracks me up because even though we have a birthday party a few times a month and though everyone knows what's going to happen - every time - it's always such a big hit. We sing the birthday song and then someone starts to chant "Mor-di-ta, Mor-di-ta!" (Little bite) The cameras are readied, everyone gets giddy and starts giggling and the person in front of the cake tries their best for a couple of minutes to try and take a small bite of cake without having someone from behind them smash their face into the cake.

I've only seen 1.5 birthdays in over a year where someone got out of it. The .5 was about a month ago - the little boy to the right. This smart lil cousin took a super-speed bite of the cake before the first chanter got to the "di" in "Mor-di-ta." It was hilarious, everyone went completely silent because they were stunned and didn't know what to do.

Smart little punk, everyone snapped back after a second and got back to laughing, congratulating him on being intelligent and watched as his sister grabbed a chunk of cake with her hand and smeared it all over his face anyway. Nice try.

The only true get-a-way was last week when Chino's Dad had his birthday party. He's pretty frail and turned 72 so after the 5th try or so of trying half-strength to push his head down they let him be, I thought it was sweet. :)

Luckily for me? Last year they didn't know my birthdate yet and Chino didn't do a family party and THIS year his Dad had just moved here and it turned out his birthday is the same exact day as mine - AND - Chino thought mine was the next day, (idiot) so I was forgot about. Was I pissy or sad or hurt? HELL NO ! ! AAHAHAHAHHAH I'm shy and haaaaattteee having the birthday song sung to me and have been dreading having to go through the cake-smashing-ritual ever since last year when I got away with it the first time.

His family felt all weird and freaked out for forgetting about me - and verbally abused Chino for mixing up the the days, but I was happy as a clam. I have a feeling next year I'll have hell to pay but we'll just see. Wish me luck. :P


~ellen~ said...

Oh wow, I know exactly how you feel, I'd hate that too. Having my face shoved in a cake while a room full of people all stare at me and cheer is a nightmare.

But on the other hand, it is a nice tradition of celebrating. Chino's family seems pretty cool! Love the pics. :)

Kristi said...

Happy belated birthday!
So do people actually EAT THE SMASHED CAKE or is there another cake just for eating??!!

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Ellen - LOL I know! I don't mean to come off as a grinch but I'm just so SHY ! :P And yes it is cool to have traditions, and his family is a ton of fun :)

Kristi - Oh no, we totally eat the cake. :P

Suki said...

LOL! When was the birthday? Belated many wishes!
Next year... maybe you can use Daisy's newborn-ness as an excuse? :P

Krissie said...

Would you believe if I told you I remembered a few hours ago I COMPLETELY MISSED YOUR BIRTHDAY and then debated with myself whether 6 days later is too late for a belated bday card or not...



Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Suki - lol but no, I'm thinking next year I'm totally hit :P

Krissie - LOL :P I knew your B-day was in Dec. but couldn't remember the right date - and thanked goodness when you posted it the other day on your livejournal (that way I wouldn't have to ask) (but of course now you KNOW that I would have had to ask so there goes my cool points) Damn it. :P

Anonymous said...

If that's how it is done at birthday parties, what do they do at weddings?! Or is that where they serve flan?

(P.S. What the hell is flan?)

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

F & F - Actually when C. and I had our secret wedding his friends threw us a combined wedding/my birthday party (his friends knew, just not my family) and actually did chant for me to take a bite and then for Chino to take a bite as well. LOL this was the first time I'd seen a mexican celebration and I had no clue about the face smashing that could go on. I don't know if they do it normally at weddings since this was my only experience, but I'm thinking whenever cake is involved there is a possiblity. :P

And Flan? Flan is nasty, that's all you need to know. *sigh* okay, okay maybe YOU'D like it, lord knows some people do. It's like this sweet custard that's got just enough gelitain in it to hold it's shape. It looks like cheesecake but it's SO NOT. It's like custard jello and it's evil.

Crystal said...

wjat is the birthday song? is it the original happy birthday to you that we sing? I know they did this to daddy edgar in the 3 milk cake that I took so much time making. i wanted it to be perfect.. and then smash, well atleast i made 2! what about my baby he will be 1, are they going to smash his face in his cake? I hope not. I want him to put his own hands in his cake, at the speed he wants to. I want to see what he does on his own. I guess I will make sure he is in my lap and i will tell daddy that baby edgars face does not need to get shoved in his cake. Plus my grandmother would not understand and they would think it was mean. (because he is so little)

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Crystal - The birthday song they sing is the Las Mananitas (with a squiggly doo over the first "n." Here's a youtube if you need a refresher.


The youngest birthday I've seen is of a little girl turning 4 and they totally got her. It seems like most of the little kids cry but tradtion is traditon with these folks. I don't think they'd do it to your baby though, he wouldn't understand the concept of taking the "mordita" bite so how could they? When he turns 2 or 3 though I'd just about plan on it. But who knows, maybe it depends on the family who gets it and who doesn't. Our family does EVERYBODY but maybe others save it for the jokesters in the family or teenagers. He's your baby don't be afraid to speak up :)

La Familia Garcia said...

oooh yeah and it's funny when they sing Happy birthday as "Sapo Verde"....does that what it sound like? kinda wierd if you ask me