Culture

People Across The Internet Are Sharing Their Celebrations For La Virgen De Guadalupe

On December 12th, many families and communities come together to celebrate the patron saint of Mexico: La Virgen de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe).

La Virgen de Guadalupe is said to have appeared to an indigenous man named Juan Diego (the man you see in images at the feet of La Virgen de Guadalupe). She asked him to have a church built in her name in the exact location where she stood: Tepeyac Hill. However, when Juan Diego spoke to his bishop about the apparition, the bishop did not believe him. It was then on December 12th that La Virgen appeared to Juan Diego again and told him to collect roses and carry them in his cloak. When Juan Diego took these roses to the bishop, an image of La Virgen de Guadalupe appeared on his garment. La Virgen de Guadalupe then became one of Mexico’s most celebrated religious and cultural symbols.

La Virgen de Guadalupe is celebrated every year on December 12th as a symbol of hope and faith in the Catholic religion.

If there’s one thing that indicates it’s El Día de La Virgen de Guadalupe, it’s the time you wake up in the morning.

While some people wake up very early on the morning of December 12th to celebrate La Virgen de Guadalupe, others begin celebrating the night before.

Since it’s tradition to sing “Las Mañanitas” to La Virgen in honor of her birthday, mariachi musicians prepare to perform late at night on December 11th or early in the morning on December 12th.

This celebration is a very busy time for all Mariachi groups.

In addition to music, La Virgen de Guadalupe is also celebrated with large altars that are decorated with dozens of roses.

Some flower shops even change their hours of operation for the day of this celebration.

Some of these altars are carried throughout the streets of different pueblos, as people walk, pray, and sing in her honor. Here is one from Oaxaca, Mexico:

A common chant you hear at these celebratory parades is “¡Que viva La Virgen de Guadalupe!”

In Mexico City, millions of people make pilgrimages to the Basílica de Santa María de Guadalupe, approaching the church on their knees.

Pedro Pardo / Getty

Although churches get overwhelmingly packed inside and out on this day…

In some churches, it gets so packed that there aren’t enough seats for everyone, which is why you see many people standing.

…the perks of live music and fresh pan dulce make waking up at 5am totally worth it.

This is what I loved about it as a kid.

The tradition of this celebration  continues to bring families and communities together every year.

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Even those who are no longer involved with the Catholic religion, are showing their appreciation for this patron saint.


Do you celebrate el día de La Virgen de Guadalupe? Tell us about your traditions in the comments below. 


READ: On Her 110th Birthday, San Francisco Will Be Celebrating The Artist’s Life And Work In A Big Way


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How Kwanzaa Was Created To Celebrate And Honor African American Culture

Culture

How Kwanzaa Was Created To Celebrate And Honor African American Culture

If it’s odd or foreign for you to hear Kwanzaa mentioned in conversations about the holidays, 2020 might be a time to read up about it.

Sure, with its origins in the Black Power and Civil Rights movement, the holiday is pretty new in comparison to other December holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah. But with so many of its traditions based on the celebration of individuals with African roots, 2020 ought to be the year you consider contemplating the importance of Kwanzaa particularly because of its celebration of African American communities and those across the world with links to Africa. 

Particularly because 2020 has seen so much attention being poured over the Black community for the first time amidst protests and calls for justice.

Unlike other holidays in December Kwanzaa is not centered on commercialism and embraces Black power.

Only a small portion of the African American population actually celebrates Kwanzaa. And unlike the other holidays it stands next to Kwanzaa is grounded rooted in recognizing the diaspora. According to The Guardian, “Kwanzaa (literally, “Harvest,”) is a seven-day commemoration and call to action innovated by Dr Maulana Ron Karenga in 1966. That Kwanzaa was born amidst social and cultural unrest – as both segregation ended and urban unrest in reaction to poverty and police brutality sparked rebellion – should speak volumes to us 48 years later. Kwanzaa is organized around seven days of reflection and action based on the Nguzo Saba (the Seven Principles).”

The principles include Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).”

The holiday draws on familiar holiday tropes including candle lighting and meals. Sometimes even gift-giving.

As The Guardian notes, “it also occurs at the time of year that was once the only full respite allowed enslaved blacks – a time that usually coincided with the end of the harvest.”

Kwanzaa is a holiday that celebrates the power and endurance of the Black community. Unlike the other December holidays, it also encourages those who take part to reflect on the struggles and successes of the Balck community in particular. And not just for those who are African American. Communities of color across the globe are standing up for Black people and defending their humanity. Kwanzaa is another way to remember that #BlackLivesMatter and to embrace and celebrate the movement, its history, and its victories as well.

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Is This Peak 2020? La Virgen De Guadalupe Allegedly Appears Inside A Mexico City Pothole

Culture

Is This Peak 2020? La Virgen De Guadalupe Allegedly Appears Inside A Mexico City Pothole

In one many are calling a miracle, some Mexico City residents say that an image of La Virgen de Guadalupe has appeared in their neighborhood, in the middle of a pothole.

Many are so convinced that they’ve turned the site into a holy shrine and visitors from around the city are flocking to the area to pay their respects and offer prayers. But not everyone is convinced with many on Twitter responding with their own supposed visions of the virgin in everything from tacos and heads of lettuce to clouds and tortillas.

Could it be? Did la virgen appear in a Mexico City pothole?

Despite stay-at-home orders, faithful Catholics have been flocking to a pothole in the Mexico City suburb of Nezahualcóyotl. Why? They’re convinced that la Virgen de Guadalupe has made an appearance in a pothole, thanks to an image which residents say bears a miraculous image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

According to neighbors, the image appeared on December 9 soon after the pothole was filled for the second time in a row.

Locals told the newspaper El Universal that the pothole had been left unrepaired for two years, but then workers showed up to repair it last week. When traffic caused the hole to reopen, a worker came by a second time to fix the hole. That evening, neighbors say, the image of the virgin appeared on the fresh concrete.

Residents in the area have already turned the new holy site into a shrine.

Local resident Beatriz Noriega Ramírez was one of a group of neighbors who taped off the site and surrounded it with candles and flowers in tribute.

“News is already circulating about the appearance of the virgin and people have begun to arrive to say prayers,” she said. “Even sick people have been asking from their cars to be healed.”

Neighbors of the new virgin told reporters that they felt blessed to have Mexico’s most beloved holy figure make an appearance in their neighborhood.

“In these such difficult pandemic times, it’s a message that the virgin is with us,” said a visibly emotional resident.

And the discovery comes just as Catholics celebrated the virgin’s holy day.

The image appeared on December 9, a holy day for Mexican Catholics for it is the day the virgin is said to have first appeared in Mexico, in 1531, to an indigenous man known as Juan Diego.

Catholics just marked the Virgin of Guadalupe’s feast day on Saturday. Her basilica, in a zone of the city known as Villa Guadalupe, usually attracts 8–10 million visitors in the days leading up to December 12. However, this year police-manned barricades kept all but locals from accessing the streets near the basilica on Friday and Saturday. All church activities on both days at the basilica were canceled to discourage large crowds.

However, many Twitter users reacted with skepticism.

Honestly, we’re just waiting for our tías and abuelas to start sending this around with a blessing attached. It is only a matter of time before we see this photo all over our newsfeeds because of the very family members mentioned above.

And let’s be honest. This isn’t the first time people have claimed to have had a religious figure appear in strange places.

In 1977, a Latina mother in New Mexico became the first person to spot Jesus Christ on a tortilla. As Angelica Rubio recalled for The Eater, the discovery of the tortilla convinced her mother to set up a dedicated shrine to the tortilla to make sure people could come to see the miracle. The tortillas, made by Rubio’s mother every morning, held a surprise one morning as she saw a burn mark in one tortilla that looked just like the Lord Jesus Christ.

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