Celebrating the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico

If you’re in Mexico in early December, you’ll soon be wondering what is the celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe?

On December 12th, Catholics across the Americas celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe commemorating the day in 1531 when the apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared in Mexico City, in the form of the Virgin of Guadalupe.


Virgin of Guadeloupe from Hotel Mariposa in Oaxaca City

What is the celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe?

In December 1531, the  Virgin appeared three times — in the form of an indigenous princess — to Juan Diego imprinting her image onto his cloak. Since then, she has become an icon not just of religious faith, but  of ethnic pride and resistance against oppression.

Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City

The cloak is preserved and set in gold at the centre of the altar  at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Roman Catholic church and National shrine of Mexico in the northeast neighbourhood of Mexico City. It’s the main pilgrimage site for the celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

If you have a long layover or are staying at a Mexico City airport hotel, it’s well worth visiting this important religious and cultural site.

Virgin of Guadalupe Shrines and Images Across Mexico

In Mexico, I’ve seen her her likeness on everything from lampshades to purses to buildings. In Chiapas, she was wearing a Zapatista bandana and, on the ceiling of a small church in La Crucecita, Huatulco, she was represented in the world’s largest mural dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Interior of church in La Crucecita Huatulco

Interior of church in La Crucecita Huatulco

In Huatulco, you can check  out the mural on the website of Mexican artist Jose del Signo or  visit it in person (the church is located across from the zocolo).

She’s here, there and everywhere

I’ve even seen images of the Virgin of Guadalupe passing by in a solemn procession near our family’s home in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Puerto Vallarta is home to the main parish Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the iconic symbol that dominates the city’s skyline during our Lady of Guadalupe Day.

There are processions, pilgrims, fireworks and of course traditional food being served in the many restaurants in Puerto Vallarta’s old town. And many, many likenesses of the Virgin on  religious objects, clothing and  souvenirs.

Skyline of Puerto Vallarta with Church of Guadalupe

Skyline of Puerto Vallarta with Church of Guadalupe

What is  most amazing though, is how she  draws devotees from all religions, faiths and beliefs… proving that, not only is the Virgin of Guadalupe everywhere — she is for everyone.

Virgin of Guadalupe talavera tile

Virgin of Guadalupe talavera tile at Casamar in Puerto Escondido Mexico


Travel Guide to Visiting the Virgin of Guadalupe

Official Tourism website: Visit Mexico

Best Viewing Location in Puerto Vallarta: A top spot to see the processions is La Casa de los Omelets, located on the second floor  on Independencia 225 above Calle Juarez near Our Lady of Guadalupe church. Get there early to score a seat on the balcony.

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What is the celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe also known as Our Lady of Guadalupe? Discover the meaning behind this revered image in #Mexico #Huatulco



Michele Peterson
Michele Peterson
Dividing her time between Toronto, Mexico and Guatemala (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is an award-winning writer, blogger, editor and publisher who specializes in travel, cuisine and luxury lifestyles.
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Showing 7 comments
  • Morgan

    Beautiful pictures! The procession seems like an amazing experience… would love to see in person. Goal for 2013!

  • Carol Perehudoff

    It sounds incredible. Bring back a lampshade.

  • Lesley Peterson

    Lovely post, Michele. The photo of the procession in Puerto Vallarta is especially moving. I remember seeing the ceiling mural at the church in La Crucecita – it is spectacular.

  • Anda @ Travel Notes & Beyond

    Beautiful pictures, especially the procession in Puerto Vallarta.

  • noel

    I think religious processions and events are great for locals and also visitors to get a view of important historic, cultural and religious ceremonies effect a country and its traditions.

  • Colleen Friesen

    I haven’t been to Puerto Vallarta in years and had no idea that all these processions and celebrations took place. I love how the iconic and sacred symbolism is mixed up with all things secular; it makes Her all so much more accessible to everyone. Thanks for a great post Michele.

  • Tam Warner Minton

    We have a second home, and vacation rental,in cozumel. You can see the Lady everywhere there as well!

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