Radishes are a nice, crunchy addition to salads, lending a peppery flavor and some color to whatever they're combined with. In Oaxaca, they take full advantage of the versatility of the vegetable by celebrating la Noche de Rabanos, or "the night of radishes," on December 23rd. The annual festival showcases the radish carvings, made from extremely large radishes (up to 10lbs). The carvings are often extremely elaborate, shaped as dancers, animals, village scenes and parts of folk stories, as well as religious images (like Nacimiento, the nativity scene).
The Radish festival began in the late 19th century when the mayor of Oaxaca "inaugurated the first exhibition of radish art." Now, tourists come in, "snapping pictures like radish paparazzi" and enjoying the carnival-like atmosphere. Cash and other prizes are given to the best pieces and lots of food and drinks (only some of which involve more radishes) are enjoyed.
Click here to see a flickr photo gallery of some of the really intricate radish entries from this year's festival.