2006 Marks the 475 Anniversary of the Appearance of Mexico’s Our Lady of Guadalupe

September 10, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News

SANTA FE,NM (September 10,2006)Mexico’s most colorful nationwide annual festival, the celebration of the appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe, begins on December 1 and this year promises to be particularly significant as the four hundred and seventy fifth anniversary of the event.

The twelve day long celebration, known in Mexico as the Guadalupana, is characterized by pilgrimages to churches dedicated to Mexico’s virgin, most notably the Basilica de Guadalupe on the main plaza in Mexico City, which was built as a result of the Virgin of Guadalupe to Juan Diego. The celebration is marked with enormous pageantry in many communities across Mexico and Latin America, including Puerto Vallarta. Puerto Vallarta’s Church of our Lady of Guadalupe is one of many in Mexico that followed the construction of the Basilica in Mexico City.

The Guadalupana is a visually rich experience for visitors. Pilgrimages are staged by local families, organizations, neighborhoods, businesses, or any group with a common bond. Each procession is unique and wonderful, with pilgrims singing the praise of Our Lady often to the accompaniment of musicians as they bring gifts to the altar in her honor. Streets around the churches are lined with patient spectators, waiting for the appearance of their favorite processions. As each procession reaches the church, bells ring out. The number of pilgrimages intensifies as the celebration continues until the last few days when they fill as many as 20 hours in a day. The celebration spreads across the Plaza and the grand finale of fireworks, which ends most Mexican celebrations from a 15th birthday to the opening of a new cantina, occurs on the night of December 12th.

Hotel packages are available in Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta, as well as other major celebration areas. BelleCora Workshops, based in New Mexico, provides one and two week stays during the Guadalupana in Puerto Vallarta with festival orientations by a native cultural anthropologist, as well as guided regional tours. For more information check the website at www.BelleCora.com.