Friday, December 12, 2008

La Virgen de Guadalupe

Today is a very important day for Catholic Mexicans. It is the day of "La Virgen de Guadalupe". She is the patroness of the country, and Mexicans are devoted to her. No school today, public or private. Many companies, factories, stores, etc., are closed. There are many pilgrimages in every city or town to a sactuary. The main one is in Mexico City: la Basílica de Guadalupe. Thousands of people flock there the night before (in reality, weeks before) to sing "Las Mañanitas" (happy birthday) at 12 o'clock . Small cities are also paralized by the many pilgrimages. Many groups make this pilgrimage one or two weeks before to avoid the crowds.

My son is in a Catholic school, and they also had their pilgrimage. Theirs was last week, and they went to the "Santuario de Guadalupe" downtown. Their pilgrimage was only about an hour and a half walking. It was in the afternoon, and all the kids participate. The kindergarten children go dressed as "inditos", but they do not walk, they are seated in the back of decorated pick-ups. Look at these adorable kids.

This boy is carrying a "bird cage" on his back.

The older students from Junior High, went dressed with one of Oaxaca's typical dress.

The girls danced all the way to the Sanctuary.

Primary kids went with their normal uniform, and sang all the way waving their white pom-poms.

This is the Santuario de Guadalupe from the outside. It is a very old church. The stones that were used to make it are very big. I like it's achitecture very much.

The inside. The photo doesn't do justice. It is really beautiful.
When the whole school got there, a special mass was celebrated. All the children like this festivity very much, and look forward to it every year.

The day is almost over , and fireworks can still be heard all over town. It will still last for an hour or so. Some people find it difficult to understand the devotion Mexicans have towards these events. The best way is to enjoy with them. And I hope you enjoy your weekend.

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