I love Baptisms. They are beautiful celebrations of the entrance of a person, usually a child, into the faith community. Baptisms in my Mexican Catholic family growing up were full of many wonderful memories and traditions. This summer we celebrated our son Anthony’s Baptism and I’m happy that my husband and I are celebrating our children's Baptisms with Mexican traditions.
Recently, I came across an old picture of my younger brother on his Baptism day. He was standing next to the piñata that my parents had bought for the party – it towered over him! Yes, our Baptism parties had piñatas – and lots of family, friends, food and fun. I was quite relieved that my husband, who is not Mexican and did not grow up celebrating Baptisms in such a big way, was on board for large Baptism celebrations. Why the big deal? Well, blame it on tradition. My family is from Mexico, where a Baptism is an important religious event but is also regarded as an opportunity to celebrate with friends and family. Es una fiesta!
How do you have a Mexican Baptism?
The Catholic religious ceremony is the most important aspect of el Bautismo. The child wears a white baptismal garment called a ropon; the white color symbolizes purity in the newly baptized. The baptismal candle symbolizes that the child is now enlightened by Christ. Parents choose the godparents of the child very thoughtfully.
Parents typically will ask a couple (a male and female, but not necessarily a married couple) to be the padrinos. The padrinos and parents of the child call each other compadres, which I would agrue that in Mexico is a very strong, life long bond. My husband and I (center) are pictured above with Anthony's padrinos, Karyme Lozano and Eduardo Verastegui.
In our family, we follow the religious ceremony with a special party, just like in Mexico. We invite our close friends and family for a big meal, complete with a mariachi band. While not as common, it's tradition for the pardrino give a "bolo" after the ceremony. I have seen the pardino throw coins, the "bolo", into the crowd after the religious ceremony, symbolizing the godson´s/goddaughter's prosperity to come.
Decorating for a Baptism
I love using white everywhere, with a splash of color. The hanging flowers are by Martha Stewart and are sold in kits. They are a little time consuming to put together, but are an inexpensive way to make any space look pretty. I hung several of these throughout the backyard. For the centerpieces I borrowed vases from my friend and filled them with flowers from the market. I added the ribbon for an extra touch.
The menu was simple but so good with "the taco" man - a local catering company that will prepare delicious tacos at your event. We also had a margarita machine! But the best part of the food was the dessert! The "sweet table" with cupcakes and other treats turned out so nice! Cupcakes are my indulgence - we got ours from Sweet Arlene's, our favorite place! They have won Cupcake Wars TWICE? They are THAT good :).
I took jars that I already owned and filled them with candy and other treats in the blue, white and brown color scheme. I decorated the containers with coordinating ribbon and labels.
The banner read "God Bless Anthony" and hung over the sweet table. I used blue and white cardstock to make it - it's really easy to put together. I printed the letters directly onto the white cardstock, cut the white and blue cardstock to the appropriate sized circles, glued them together in the layered format (with glue dots) and then used a ribbon to string them together.
And for entertainment? A mariachi, of course! And to help keep the kids entertained I set up an arts and crafts area, along with a very helpful friend to assist the kids.
My husband and I believe that Baptisms can be celebrated in a big way because they only happen once in a child’s life, unlike a birthday. We love making a big deal of this special day in our child's life. Incorporating the beautiful Mexican traditions into our child's Baptism is a real treat!
The pictures shared on this post were taken at our son's Baptism by my very talented friend Jennifer Carrillo of Bella Rosa Photography. Check out her site - amazing pictures!