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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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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