The religious meaning of a Catholic Baptism has its main dogma in eliminating the "original sin" to receive the new member into the Christian community. Baptism comes from the classic Greek bapto which means to submerge. The religious ritual is like a short version of a Catholic mass with the reading of word of God, but without the consecration procedures. The parents and the Godparents will take the child close to the pile to allow the priest to pour water on his or her head and receive the blessing.
However, the truth is that in Mexican culture baptism is synonym of "Fiesta" making the religious ritual a huge party with traditional food, a typical christening gown, accessories and all organized by the parents and the padrinos.
It all starts when the child is getting close to be born. The parents start thinking of the name which it ends up being the biggest problem. He must be named Juan after his grandpa says the future father or Pedro like his mother side grandpa. Okay, let's agree on Juan Pedro so both of them feel included. Maybe the name should be after the Saint born on this day but this is just the beginning and goes on for days, weeks or even months. The parents use all kinds of power tactics during the negotiation. The husband decides to stay on Sunday watching the soccer game while the wife goes out shopping. Well, at the end they settle for Jose Brian, a name without any links to the current family and combining the most typical Mexican and American traditions.
Then the second step which is just as complicated is selecting the Padrinos or Godparents for the formal catholic baptism ceremony. The father argues it must be his best friends with whom thousands of adventures and experiences have unite them and who promised as teenagers to be compadres. But the opinion of the mother is that it must be someone from the family such as her sister or cousin. Then it comes an additional complication because he or she is not married or even worse if he or she is divorced because according to Catholic traditions that would not be a good thing. Well, you get the point, selecting Godparents is important but it gets complicated.
After dealing with these issues, and preparing food, logistics and entertainment, the grand day is finally here. If the organizers are lucky, it will be a sunny day with a fresh cool breeze perfect for women to wear a beautiful cotton dress; colorful or monochromatic with embroidery as traditional Mexican clothing dictates. The father and the godfather will agree to wear a typical Mexican guayabera also called Mexican wedding shirt which is simply put a shirt with vertical bands of details on the front and worn untucked.
The catholic baptism ceremony will normally be on a Saturday or Sunday and has a number of formalities and baptism traditions with the family. One of the most famous is the bolo! Baptism is the perfect celebration to bring together families and enjoy the food and music and traditions.
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