If Santa Claus was Mexican, he would live in Tlalpujahua
It has earned the nickname "magic town" because it makes 37 million Christmas ornaments a year and some of them may be adorning your tree...
In Tlalpujahua ('spongy land', in Nahuatl), a town of just over 25,000 inhabitants in the Mexican state of Michoacán, Christmas lasts as long as it does at the North Pole: all year round.
This town with a mining past, which has earned itself the nickname "magical," is the largest producer of Christmas decorations in the country, especially of colorful Christmas ornaments that hang from the fir trees during the festivities, and most of those who live there have been dedicating themselves to Christmas crafts since the 1950s, generation after generation.
The greatest gift of Christmas for its inhabitants is that it exists, since more than 2,000 Michoacán families are devoted to a business that generates nearly 1,600 jobs, from the making of the ornaments to sales.
Their work, like that of the little elves who work for Santa, is hard and constant: Tlalpujahua is one of the first places in production of Christmas ornaments worldwide and around 37 million units are made, 60% of which are exported to Argentina, the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Japan and some European countries.
The municipality is so famous that it holds its annual Sphere Fair, which welcomes thousands of national and international tourists looking for unique and handcrafted decorations to decorate their homes at Christmas. But what makes them so special?
Above all, their careful elaboration, which sometimes requires up to seven people to make a single sphere in the nearly 150 manufacturing workshops in the village. But also the great variety of models: up to 400 different ones, points out El Heraldo de México. And with prices that can reach up to $10, depending on the size and decoration, which is also of the most varied, from drawings of Santa Claus to painted unicorns, according to taste. That includes models that adorned the Vatican in 2012 and had not been presented before.
While red is, along with green, the color of Christmas, this year the matte shades set the trend, says the manufacturer Alfredo Muñoz Ruiz to El Universal.
"We are practically every year at international fairs in Germany or New York, which are setting the trends for us to follow," he says.
If it wasn't enough to consider Tlalpujahua the Latin Lapland, they even have the House and Village of Santa Claus, which simulates the street of Bavaria, in Rothenburg, in honor of the first spherical artisans of the world.