This Macon family combines three cultural traditions for a food-filled Christmas


Sonya Green

Mario Barragan serves Latin fare at his restaurant, Tzango, on second street in Downtown Macon.

Mario Barragan’s fondest memories of celebrating the Mexican holiday, Noche Buena, involve cooking tamales with his great-grandmother. Noche Buena is celebrated on what would be Christmas Eve in America. It is observed with the birth of Jesus re-enactments, street parties and food that included the traditional dish, tamales.

“Tamales are tasty, small bundles and can feed a lot of people,” said Barragan.

According to the 50-year old, it can take several days to make the hundreds of tamales needed for the neighborhood celebration. He said it is believed that in order for the tamales to taste good, everybody has to get involved in making them.

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