Saturday, 26 October 2013

Lady of Guadalupe Festivities – Rosaries, Altars, Novenas, Floats and Parade, Pilgrimages in Barra de Navidad, Villa Obregon, Melaque and Cihuatlan

Lady of Guadalupe image in Tacos Johny Restaurant in Cihuatlan
One of the most important religious holidays in Mexico is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe (Virgen de Guadalupe) on Dec. 12th. The celebrations actually start 46 days before Dec 12th with the praying of the Rosary each day.

This is a recount of how the Lady of Guadalupe Festivity is celebrated in Barra de Navidad and surrounded villages of Villa Obregon, San Patricio Melaque and municipality city of Cihuatlan.

Lady of Guadalupe Altar / Altar a la Virgen de Guadalupe: An altar dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe is set up in the front of houses and businesses starting October 28th. Usually the altar is set up for people participating in the praying of the 46 Rosaries.
Virgen of Guadalupe altar at Sea Master Restaurant

46 Rosaries: Walking in the streets of Barra de Navidad in the evening you would probably have noticed groups of people gathering in front of an altar of the Lady of Guadalupe, these people are praying the Rosary. Barra de Navidad is divided in sectors, so, there are different groups of prayers of Rosary depending of the sector they belong. The Rosary pray is usually at 6:00 p.m. and when it finishes the host offers aguas frescas (refreshing beverages) or a small complimentary snack to the assistants. The group will collect 46 starts in the image of the Virgin. The image of the Lady of Guadalupe and the starts are taken on Dec 12th on pilgrimage by the group participants to the church.

Novenas: These are 9 Rosaries prayed 9 days before Dec 12th. People and most commonly children are dressed up as Chichimeca Indian San Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin with his `ayate` showing the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the front. Girls are dressed up with the Indian outfit similar to the one of the Chichimecas used to wear at the time when the miracle occurred. Villa Obregon also organizes a pilgrimage as part of the novena to the main church, praying of the Rosary and a mass after the Rosary.

Veladas: Cihuatlan has Veladas in different Barrios (sector of the city). In a Velada the image of Lady of Guadalupe of the Parroquia de la Santa Cruz (Main Church in Cihuatlan) is taken around 8:00 pm to `velarla` spend overnight in the barrio where a mass is celebrated. There are also danzas, and pozole and coffee are usually offered to the assistants. The image of the Lady of Guadalupe is taken back in a pilgrimage early in the morning to the main church and a mass is celebrated at 5:30 am.

Pilgrimage to Cihuatlan: Melaque, Barra de Navidad, Jaluco, Infonavit and El Aguacate participate in a pilgrimage that start around midnight to end very early in the morning around 5:00 am walking to Cihuatlan by the old road and then the highway. A mass is celebrated in the main church in Cihuatlan.

Pilgrimages in Cihuatlan (Peregrinaciones del Pueblo): There are individual pilgrimages in Cihuatlan of the different groups that also participate in the pilgrimage of Dec 12th. The individual pilgrimages start on Dec 1st. Some of the groups are taxi service, primary schools, children groups, banana field workers, bank employees.

Church Ringing Bells or Fireworks (Repique de Campanas y Cuetes): Church ringing bell in the Parroquia de la Santa Cruz from Dec 1st to Dec 12th is at 4:30 a.m. In Barra de Navidad, Melaque and Villa Obregon there are fireworks very early in the morning at around 5:00 a.m.

Mañanitas a la Virgen: Mañanitas (traditional songs dedicated as a birthday present very early in the morning) usually played by Mariachi bands is offered to the Lady of Guadalupe. In Cihuatlan is every day at 5:30 a.m. every day starting Dec 1st.


Dec 11th Midnight mass in the Parroquia de la Santa Cruz.

Dec 12th

9:00 a.m. First Communion Mass

11:00 a.m. Pilgrimage of the habitants

5:00 p.m. Floats and Danzas.

Floats show life scenes of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Danzas are different groups of dancers dancing in pre-Columbian style and dressing either like Apaches or a mix of pre-Columbian and Hispanic dresses. They held flags with the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe or have this image printed in the outfit.

Some of the groups that participate in the Danzas are:

Danza de Los Plataneros

Danza de Los Plataneros

Danza del Amarillo
Danza del Amarillo

Danza de la Tecolotera (Colonia Miguel Hidalgo)

Danza de los Niños del Divino Nino

Danza de los Apaches

Danza del Chavarín

Locos de la Danza. Danzas in Mexico usually have at least one participant call Loco de la Danza. They represent the evil fighting against the dancers. In the danzas in Cihuatlan they are dressed up in costumes made with balloons, newspaper or banana leafs.
Loco de la Danza

Locos de la Danza with outfits mades of newpaper
Locos de la Danza with outfits mades of newpaper

8:00 Solemn Mass dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Blessing of Roses and Images.

After the mass there are traditional Mexican fireworks: "Castillos", "Toritos" and "Bombas".

The following will be updated soon: 
El Aguacate and Infonavit Community

Dec 11th

5:00 p.m. Rosary and pilgrimage to the church with Lady of Guadalupe images and starts

6:00 p.m. Mass


Dec 11th

6:00 p.m. Rosary and pilgrimage to the church with Lady of Guadalupe images and starts

7:00 Mass

Dec 12th

10:00 a.m. pilgrimage to the church with Lady of Guadalupe images and starts. The pilgrimage starts by the Bull Fighting ring in Jaluco.

10:45 a.m. Mass

Barrio San Felipe de Jesus in Barra de Navidad

Dec 11th

7:00 p.m. Rosary and pilgrimage to the small church in the Barrio with Lady of Guadalupe images and starts

8:00 p.m. Mass (joining Colonia Ejidal)

Dec 12th

9:30 a.m. Mass

Barra de Navidad

Dec 11th

8:00 p.m. Rosary and pilgrimage to the main church with Lady of Guadalupe images and starts in downtown Barra de Navidad

9:00 p.m. Mass (joining Colimilla)

Dec 12th

8:00 a.m. Mass

12:00 p.m. Mass

6:00 p.m. Pilgrimage and `Danzas` to the Barra de Navidad church with Lady of Guadalupe images and starts participating families of Barra de Navidad and Barrio San Felipe de Jesus. This pilgrimage starts in the high way by the foot ball field and ends in the Barra de Navidad church in downtown.

7:00 p.m. Mass

Visitng Barra de Navidad? Stay at Vacation Rental Casa Las Margaritas


Tom said...

Great post! I really learned alot...Its amazing how each pueblo celebrates the important holidays and festivals in such unique ways. I just hiked up to the highest peak around Lake Chapala with a group of pilgrims last Saturday, staying the night and taking part in the festivities. There is a special altar to the Virgin of Guadalupe there, carved into a stony face in the mountain.

TenekTech said...

Thanks Tom! You are right. Every part of Mexico have some things that are unique. I would like to participate someday to the festivities Guadalupanas in Chapala.