To me December 12th has always been the day that we honor the Virgen de Guadalupe. When I lived in Mexico, there was a big festival that included a mass, entertainment, food, dance, and even carnival rides. In Houston, you’ll find celebrations throughout the city varying in size and scope; these will also include food, dance, entertainment, and religious ceremonies.
I wanted to learn more about the history and significance of the celebration, to share a little more with you. Here’s what I found.
The Virgen de Guadalupe is a revered figure in Mexican culture and is celebrated annually on December 12th. The holiday, known as Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, is a time for Catholics in Mexico and around the world to honor the Virgin Mary, who is believed to have appeared to a Mexican peasant named Juan Diego in 1531. The Virgen de Guadalupe is seen as a symbol of hope, faith, and love. She is revered as the patron saint of Mexico.
Many traditions are associated with celebrating the Virgen de Guadalupe. Practices include:
- The construction of altars.
- The performance of religious ceremonies and dances.
- The distribution of food and gifts to the poor.
One of the most popular traditions is the construction of elaborate altars decorated with flowers, candles, and other symbols of the Virgin. These altars are set up in homes, churches, and public squares to honor the Virgin and offer prayers for her intercession.
Another popular tradition is the performance of religious dances and ceremonies, which are often held in honor of the Virgin. These dances, which include the Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers) and the Danza de los Matlachines (Dance of the Matlachines), are meant to pay tribute to the Virgin and offer prayers for her blessings.
In addition to these traditions, celebrating the Virgen de Guadalupe is also marked by distributing food and gifts to the poor. Many people take this opportunity to assist those in need through charitable donations or volunteering their time and resources.
Celebrating the Virgen de Guadalupe is an integral part of Mexican culture. It is a time for Catholics to unite to honor the Virgin Mary and celebrate their faith.