A colorful hand sewn blouse or dress, worn by a welcoming woman or young lady, offering traditional waters of chilacayota, horchata, jamaica and other flavors is a treat for the eyes and also the taste buds. "In Oaxaca, aguas frescas – essentially a mix of fresh fruit pulp, plain water, and some sugar if needed – are synonymous with freshness and excitement, given the selection of different flavors made from the myriad of fruits that grow locally." (See more) And because the offering is of good will and made as a gift to friend and strangers alike, it is salve to the soul. Día de la Samaritana, or Day of the Samaritan occurred last Friday. It is a celebrated time for offering life giving waters.
It seems there is always some kind of festival or event happening in Oaxaca. The most famous are Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, and also Guelaguetza, the gathering of indigenous peoples of Oaxaca state. The city is a very popular International destination for weddings which pour onto the streets.
I had never experienced Día de la Samaritana until some friends invited Amy and I to stroll with them through downtown to experience the gatherings and hospitality. Folks bring cups from home to accept drinks, so as to diminish waste.
The story of the woman good Samaritan is told in the Bible, John 4:7-31. Jesus is alone at a well. His followers have all gone off somewhere. A woman with a jug comes to the well. Seeing that Jesus is a Jew, and being of the Samaritan tribe, she is not supposed to have much to do with him and tells him when he asks for water. A conversation ensues; “You don’t know what God can give you. And you don’t know who I am, the one who asked you for a drink. If you knew, you would have asked me, and I would have given you living water.” The woman said, “Sir, where will you get that living water? The well is very deep, and you have nothing to get water with. Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob? He is the one who gave us this well. He drank from it himself, and his sons and all his animals drank from it too.” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But anyone who drinks the water I give will never be thirsty again. The water I give people will be like a spring flowing inside them. It will bring them eternal life.”
Eventually, after Jesus reveals facts about the woman that He could not possibly known, she leaves him her jug and runs to tell people that she thinks she has met the messiah.
Nowhere else but in Oaxaca is this biblical event officially celebrated.