Everyone who visits Mexico and pays attention not only to its tourist attractions, but to more everyday and typical aspects, will have listened, perhaps seen or even entered into some tianguis.
Virtually every neighborhood of every town or city has in Mexico, at least one day a week, a street occupied by a temporary market, which is intstala at dawn, is uninstalled at nightfall, and despite being informal and ephemeral, it is a custom that has been maintained for more than 500 years, because many of these are still installed on the same roads as they did centuries ago and work more or less in the same way, although the times have changed.
Fruits, Vegetables and 2nd Use Clothes
That we know, from pre-Hispanic times, the tianguis (word that comes from the Nahuatl "tianquiztli" whose closest translation is "market") has been the basic way in which the civilizations of Mesoamerica traded. The tianguis was the meeting point where producers offered their goods and customers acquired them. Although in many countries there are markets on wheels, temporary or informal, only in Latin America and the Middle East there are those that are installed periodically, according to their schedules, and that have lasted so long.
Buyers and Sellers
One of the most famous and important tianguis was that of Tlatelolco, in the Great Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), the capital of the Aztec Empire, since there were buyers and sellers from all over Mesoamerica and beyond. There you could get almost anything that existed at that time on the Continent.
In the current typical weekly tianguis is sold, simply, as centuries ago, of everything, most commonly used items such as food, both raw and prepared, clothing, both new and use, and various tools.
There are obvious differences between the city and provincial tianguis, according to their way of life. For example, in a city market it is easy to find the meat already cut and even packed; in the province it is common to see chickens and live sheep.
However, there are specialized tianguis; some sell tools, other jewelry, some more flowers and plants, self-used, books and acetates, pets and even products of obvious contraband.
Regardless of the type of tianguis that we go to, whether or not we have the intention of buying, whether or not we are Mexican, do not like the experience or not, entering one immerses us in a world of colors and aromas, where today's culture mixes with the ancestral tradition, and the temporal with the lasting.