To All a Tamale and to All a Goodnight: Tamale Festivals for the Holidays

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Tony Maples Photography


The holidays are in full swing, and you know what that means? It’s tamale season! That delicious little gift is made with love, ready for you to unwrap its savory flavors as you enjoy one or two or maybe even a dozen in a single sitting. Families gather together for the beloved tamalada, as it is affectionately called, to make tamales filled with various delicious fillings such as chicken, pork, beans, spinach, cheese, and even sweet tamales are all the rage.

Festivals such as the 8th Annual Houston Tamale Festival is the place to be if you love trying a variety of tamales in one place with a special ambiance. It makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into a little street festival complete with good food, dancing, music, vendors, and all the tamales you can eat. From the traditional Mexican tamales to tamales wrapped in banana leaves, and even vegan tamales, this annual festival is a great way to celebrate the holiday season.

Video: TexasHillCountry/Sonia Ramirez

December is not only a time when families gather around the table to share stories and spend quality time as they pass down the beloved tradition of creating these little packages of masa goodness, but festivals all around Texas gear up to welcome visitors to the tastiest celebrations around.

The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without tamales gracing your table. Some of the best places to go and sample these little treasures include festivals like the one held in Houston. But don’t worry, you still have time to catch other tamale festivals around the Lone Star State, such as the ones happening in San Antonio. Below are a few that you can attend in your stretchy pants with your walking shoes:

Dec. 8, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Historic Market Square
Dec. 8, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Witte Museum
Dec. 8, 12 to 6 p.m.
The Greenline SA
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However, the best place to celebrate this beloved tradition is right in your family’s kitchen alongside a generation of tamale experts spreading the masa, filling the tamales, and wrapping them with love in the husk as you wait for them to cook. Taste test a few before wrapping a dozen up and sharing with family and friends as they daydream with visions of tamales dancing in their heads. Happy tamale season to all and to all a good tamalada!