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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This Virgen de Guadalupe Mural Was Vandalized In Los Angeles And The Community Is Devastated

Things That Matter

This Virgen de Guadalupe Mural Was Vandalized In Los Angeles And The Community Is Devastated

La Virgen de Guadalupe means so much to so many. Especially the Latino community in Van Nuys, California, near Los Angeles, which is reeling after an important mural depicting La Virgen was vandalized overnight.

Although security cam footage captured an unknown man defacing the mural, the suspect is still at large and the community is asking for help in finding out who committed the vandalism.

A suspect was caught on camera destroying a mural with La Virgen de Guadalupe.

The community of Saint Elisabeth Church near Los Angeles is asking the community for prayers after a mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe was vandalized on church grounds. 

The parish’s security system recorded video footage of an unknown man dressed in black approaching the mural with a sledgehammer at 1:40 a.m. Wednesday morning. He can be seen smashing the tiles that make up Our Lady’s face several times before fleeing.

On Friday, April 23, Father Di Marzio led a prayer service, which was livestreamed on the parish Facebook page. Some 30 parishioners gathered to sing and pray a decade of the rosary in front of the mural, which is roped off with caution tape, while nearly 100 others joined online. In closing, Fr. Di Marzio encouraged parishioners to “continue to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help us, and to touch the heart of the person who did this.” 

Also on Friday, a local artist, Geo Rhodes, was scheduled to visit the mural and discuss a plan for repair, arranged by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “We hope that soon we will restore the image, or have a new one more beautiful than the one we had before,” Fr. Di Marzio said.  

La Virgen de Guadalupe is extremely important to the church.

The hand-painted tile mural stands between the church and the rectory. It was installed over 35 years ago as a “symbol of community unity,” said business manager Irma Ochoa. Each square tile was sponsored by a parish family. Overlooking a small altar, the mural has become a popular place for parishioners to pray and light candles, asking Our Lady for special blessings. 

“I feel an unspeakable sadness,” said Fr. Antonio Fiorenza, who is in residence at the parish. “But I feel pity for the one who made this sacrilegious gesture. I pray for his conversion and for all those who show contempt to the Virgin Mary.”

To donate to the restoration fund, visit stelisabethchurch.org

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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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