National Corn Day; Mexico's Sacred Plant

In a country as rich in culture and traditions as Mexico, it is hard to believe that one of its most emblematic elements is corn. However, more than a food, it is a symbol of its history, culture, and of course, its gastronomy. So much, that even a National Corn Day has been created!

Día nacional del maíz México
Corn Cob, sacred food of the Mayas

One tribute that helps us to remember its value in the development of the country and its importance in the identity of many Mexicans. Therefore, in the following lines, we want to invite you to discover why corn is a food worth celebrating. 

National Corn Day

1. When is National Corn Day?

National Corn Day is celebrated on September 29th every year in Mexico. This date was chosen to pay tribute to one of the most iconic and adored plants in our culture. 

As, it is not only considered a sacred food that has nourished generations of Mexicans, but also continues to be a central element in the lives of millions of people.

2. The Importance of Corn in Mexico

Being native to Mexico, corn has been cultivated in these lands for thousands of years. However, its history dates back to ancient pre-Hispanic civilizations, such as the Mayans and Toltecs, who considered corn a divine gift and used it as the basis of their diet.

National corn day
Corn as one of the pillars of Mexican food

Today, Mexico is one of the main producers and consumers of corn in the world; in fact, it is estimated that each Mexican consumes around 146 kilos per year. 

This makes it not only one of the most important pillars of the Mexican diet, but also a fundamental asset for the economy, which also carries a deep cultural and spiritual meaning for its people. For this reason, the National Corn Day is proudly commemorated.

3. Corn and its link to the Mayan culture

This crop is considered a sacred food for several reasons. First, it is directly linked to the history and identity of the nation. It is well known that, like cacao, another sacred food, corn was also considered a gift from the gods and several civilizations associated it with the origin of life.

maiz planta sagrada maya
Corn used in Mayan rituals and customs

In fact, one of the most famous legends in the Mayan culture, according to the sacred book of Popol Vuh, tells us that man was created from corn and that in gratitude they learned to work the land and give it life through its cultivation.

In this way, the process of planting, cultivating and harvesting corn is filled with various rituals and ancestral practices that, to this day, continue to be an important part of life in rural communities.

4. Symbol of Mexico's cultural heritage

Believe it or not, this important crop is a symbol of our historical heritage, since along with chili and beans, it was one of the key elements for Mexican gastronomy to be declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010.

Traditional cuisine on National Corn Day
Ancestral techniques applied to corn cultivation

In fact, it is food that is found in the country’s gastronomy and music, as well as in dance and the visual arts. Inspiring numerous tales, legends and songs that are passed from generation to generation.

In addition, its cultivation involves unique practices, ancestral culinary techniques, ancient knowledge and sometimes rituals.

5. Corn in the Mayan gastronomy

While corn is important throughout Mexico, in the Yucatán Peninsula, home of the ancient Maya civilization, its presence in the cuisine is matchless. Indeed, this element became the mainstay of the Mayan diet, even developing advanced cultivation and preparation techniques to create food and beverages. 

Día Nacional del Maíz
Tortilla, the most consumed corn product in Mexico

One of them was nixtamalization, which allowed them to make the most of this valuable resource to make beverages such as atole, tamales or tortillas. Examples of the culinary richness that the Mayas were able to create from corn and its different species.

Nowadays, Mayan gastronomy is appreciated around the world, so celebrating National Corn Day with delicious traditional flavors will not be a challenge. For this, there is no better place than Pischán, a local restaurant in Cobá, expert in ancestral flavors and aromas. 

To get more details about it and start your culinary journey in Mexico, do not hesitate to contact the direct line 998 342 0198, or if you prefer, make your reservation through the website.


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