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.

CREDIT: 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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If You Are In Latin America For The Holidays, Here Are The Best Places To Celebrate New Year’s

Culture

If You Are In Latin America For The Holidays, Here Are The Best Places To Celebrate New Year’s

Pedro Szekely / Flickr

If you’ve ever celebrated New Year’s Eve, you know that it can get pretty loco, no matter where you are in the world! But while the U.S. is all champagne, loud dance music, twinkly lights, and wild parties, Latin America’s New Year’s looks different. In many different ways! Depending on where you are, you might be stuffing lentils in your pockets, wearing color-coded underwear, or burning elaborate dolls that resemble celebrities and wicked politicians. Latin America is a beautifully diverse region of the globe, and each country offers its own characteristic approach to ringing in the next solar cycle. To help narrow things down a little, we’ve gathered some of the most unique traditions that prove Latin America is a stellar place to celebrate El Año Nuevo.

All Over Mexico

Credit: Atamo Fireworks

Like many Spanish-speaking countries, New Year’s Eve in Mexico usually starts out with a family dinner. People gather with their closest peeps to eat a traditional meal with mole, tamales, bacalao, or lentils (depending on where they are—each region is pretty distinct, and Mexico is a huge country!). Once they’re good and fed, folks enjoy each other’s company until the clock strikes midnight—but at this pivotal moment, you better have your 12 lucky grapes on hand! Once they’ve made their 12 wishes, Mexicans step out into the night, mingling among outdoor fiestas in all the major plazas. Fireworks illuminate the dark sky for hours and hours. It’s a super vibrant setting to indulge in some of life’s greatest pleasures: friends, family, food, and drink!

Panama City, Panama

Credit: Pinterest

With gorgeous beaches, endless fireworks, and temperate tropical temperatures, Panama City is the ideal New Year’s destination (especially if you’re escaping frigid weather farther north!). The people of Panama sure know how to party—whether on the sandy shores of those gorgeous beaches, in vibrant clubs, discotheques, bars, or even on the street, there is sure to be a raging fiesta everywhere you turn.  In Panama, people create life-sized out of old clothes, which are meant to represent the past year. At midnight, the makers of these dolls burn them in a symbolic display of the whole “out with the old, in with the new” idea. Often, folks get really creative with their muñecos, crafting effigies that resemble political figures or celebrities. Talk about a fun, fiery way to say farewell to all of last year’s worst moments!

All Over Ecuador

Credit: YoTuT / Flickr

In Ecuador, people also know how to throw a good party. Ecuadorians also burn effigies that resemble Panama’s muñecos, but here a “muñeco” is known as an “año viejo.” But the mythology of the año viejo is a little more complex in Ecuador: along with the año viejos come las viudas, dudes who dress in drag and pretend to be the burned dolls’ widowed wives. These men—decked out in tight minifaldas, pantyhose, low-cut tops, and wigs—mill through the streets, asking for money to help support their now-fatherless families. It’s humorous, theatrical, and colorful: the perfect recipe for an entertaining eve!

Valparaíso, Chile

Credit: Pinterest

No matter where you are in the world, New Years isn’t New Years without fireworks—and the city of Valparaíso, Chile, has the largest, most grandiose New Years fireworks display in all of South America! (Back in 2007, this display won the Guinness World Records for setting off 16,000 fireworks.) If you’re a fan of serious skybound sparkles, this seaside city will absolutely dazzle you. Plus, it’s super accessible if you’re staying in the capital city of Santiago, which is also famous for its lively New Years fiesta culture.

Cuzco, Peru

Credit: Pedro Szekely / Flickr

Peru is known around the world for its impeccable approach to cuisine, and if you consider yourself a foodie of any sort, Cuzco is the place to be. Replete with restaurants overlooking the Plaza de Armas, it’s a beautiful setting in which to indulge all the delicacies the country has to offer—while still engaging with local traditions. As thousands of locals (and, inevitably, tourists) all gather in the Plaza, waiting for the impressive midnight fireworks display, you can enjoy a wide array of traditional and contemporary Peruvian dishes, ringing in the New Year with a delicious, nourishing meal.

Montevideo, Uruguay

Credit: Pinterest

On the afternoon New Year’s Eve, people in Montevideo gather in the Mercado del Puerto to celebrate in a really effervescent way—by literally pouring bottles of cider all over each other. And at the end of the workday, employees shred their calendar from the last year, tossing them out the windows like confetti. With drumlines, dancing, and generally high energy, the New Year’s celebrations begin early, ultimately culminating in lots of fireworks, bustling parties, and incredible dinners. Uruguayans normally eat lamb, lechon, or salmon on New Year’s, and you’re bound to find yourself an excellent feast in one of the many fine restaurants throughout the capital city.

READ: Make 2020 Your Year With These 5 Steps To Succeed At Your Resolutions

Here Are Some Delectable Latino Foods To Heighten Your Hanukkah Menu This Year

Culture

Here Are Some Delectable Latino Foods To Heighten Your Hanukkah Menu This Year

Unsplash

It’s the holiday season, which means nearly every Latino of religious faith or of none are coming together to celebrate food and family. While most Latinos think Nochebuena is the official holiday of Latinos, our community is just as diverse in skin tone as we are in religion. Food has a poetic way of invoking the spirit of our ancestors and enriching our bodies in real-time with their own recipes and heritage. Latino-American Jews invariably have an ancestral arc that began in Europe and made its way to Latin America under duress from religious persecution either from the Spanish Inquisition or from Nazi Germany a couple of hundred years later. They fled to Latin America where Latino Jews have a strong community, and some eventually immigrated to the United States where an even smaller community of Latino-American Jews exists. Anti-semitism may be the catalyst for the Jewish diaspora, but a persistent, inherited hope for a better life is the driving force. For Latino Jews, an even wider array of recipes are available to work its ancestral alchemist magic to invoke the settled feeling of home.

With Hannukah just days away and grocery lists left blank on the page, might we recommend some of these tan rico Hanukkah dishes.

Peruvian Purple Potato Latkes

CREDIT: “PURPLE POTATO LATKE 1”. DIGITAL IMAGE. ECURRY. 20 DECEMBER 2019.

For Latina-Jewish eCurry blogger, “latkes are softly intertwined with the memories of warm and cozy meets during the Hanukkah feast in my daughter’s preschool with equally warm and cozy friends, teachers and children. Along with it are woven the dreidels, the lighting of the menorah, the chant of the prayers and of course the music which still rings in my ears.” For Jews living in the South American Andes’ highlands, the Peruvian Purple Potato would have been more widely available than white potatoes. 

Tacos de Brisket

CREDIT: UNNAMED. DIGITAL IMAGE. THE LATIN KITCHEN. 20 DECEMBER 2019

Julian Medina, a Mexico City-born and raised chef who later converted to Judaism, has gifted the Festival of Lights his very own recipes that marry the two cultures together. With the flavors of Hanukkah and the Mexican experience of eating a well-made taco, come los tacos de brisket. The tortillas are made of Matzo meal instead of cornflour and the brisket is flavored with Bohemia beer and sofrito. You can’t go wrong.

Guacamole de Pescado Ahumado (Whitefish Guacamole)

CREDIT: UNNAMED. DIGITAL IMAGE. THE LATIN KITCHEN. 20 DECEMBER 2019

You heard that right, and it’s not wrong. Chef Medina has done it again and it’s quite easy to accomplish. If you know how to make guacamole and whitefish salad, then you know how to make this recipe. If you’re hosting a holiday party and know that one of your Latino friends celebrate Hanukkah, this may be the perfect dish to ensure they feel welcome and seen. Just be sure to use kosher salt in the Guacamole. The whitefish salad is close to a similar Jewish salad though Medina offers to top it with cilantro. It’s the perfect appetizer or party sampler dish when paired together!

Buñelos with Honey

CREDIT: “BUNELOS PHOTO BY MICHAEL NATKIN” DIGITAL IMAGE. KOSHER COWBOY. 20 DECEMBER 2019.

Hanukkah is all about the fried food to celebrate the miraculous oil that just kept on giving. While buñelos have become a major treat in Latin American countries, in Hebrew, they’re called bimuelos. While you don’t have to do anything different than how your abuelita taught you to make them, they make the perfect Hanukkah dish given their leavened doughy, deep-fried goodness. With a dash of sugar and spice in the dough, which must be proofed for at least an hour. You can poke a hole through the middle to make fried donuts or fry the classic buñelos in a pan. Drizzle with honey and disfruten. Honey is the magic ingredient.

Sofrito

CREDIT: @IZZY_MONEY85 / TWITTER

That’s right my fellow Boricuas, sofrito might be the ultimate symbol and base of our cuisine, but Spanish Jews had long been using the garlic, onion, pepper, tomatoes, cumin, and olive oil base salsa to slow-cook chicken, veal, beef or lamb by Spanish Sephardic Jews. In fact, we owe it to the Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition for bringing their recipes with them. Their cultural influence made an impact on Spanish cuisine, which then had a ripple effect on Latin America as it became colonized by Spain. Originally, sofrito was most often celebrated in the Balkans, the Levant, Turkey, and the Maghreb before making its way to become a Puerto Rican staple. Whatever you decide to make for your Hanukkah meal, including sofrito is a no-brainer crowd pleaser.

READ: This Is How Jewish Latinos Get Down With The Food During Hanukkah