Friday, November 28, 2008

Mexico tomorrow!

Ron and I are off to Mexico for two weeks. We leave tomorrow and it doesn't look like we will have much internet access while there. I will post as I'm able... I plan to do some sketching and a LOT of photography while there. I leave you with 2 photos... the first is one of the friendly faces I hope to see again, the second is a lovely sunset over the palapas on the Bay of Banderas. I've also provided some information on the peregrinaciones that we will see from Dec 1-12 in Puerto Vallarta.

The celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Virgen de Gualdalupe), with its colorful religious processions (Peregrinaciones) from December 1-12, is the most public and extended religious holiday in Mexico. Guadlupe is the patron saint of both Puerto Vallarta and of Mexico. She is also known as La Virgen Morena (the brown-skinned virgin). She is believed to be the manifestation of the Virgin Mary in the Americas.
December 12th celebrates the miraculous appearance of the Virgin Guadalupe to the peasant Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin on a hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City in 1531. Puerto Vallarta celebrates this event with daily processions by social, civic and business groups and from adjoining communities to the Church of Guadalupe, in the center of Downtown Vallarta for special masses. Some of the larger of these processions may include parades with floats, dancers, music and fireworks. The final day of the peregrinaciones is a fiesta with fireworks and food vendors in the central plaza.
Visitors are encouraged to watch the processions from the sidewalks or even to join in. The processons usually start around the area of Juarez and October 31st streets.
At midnight on December 11, large numbers of people gather around the Church of Guadalupe to sing the Mananitas to Mary. During the day of December 12, Mariachi bands play and around mid-day the main pilgrimage named de los hijo suentes y previligiados (missing and privileged children) occurs with the largest assemblies of the whole 12 days. Children are dressed in sackcloths and traditional customs made of linen.
At 8pm on December 12 is the last mass of the celebration and the processions keep coming to the Church until almost midnight.
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