Monday, December 13, 2010

Día de La Virgen de Guadalupe

Sunday (December 12) was the Día de La Virgen de Guadalupe (Day of the Virgin Guadalupe). La Virgen de Guadalupe (also known as Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe) is a Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary, Mexico's most popular religious and cultural image, and the Patron Saint of Mexico. Both Miguel Hidalgo (during the War of Independence) and Emiliano Zapata (during the Mexican Revolution) carried flags bearing the image of la Virgen de Guadalupe. 

According to the story, an indigenous peasant named Juan Diego saw a vision of a young woman on December of 1531 on the hill of Tepeyac. She asked for a church to be built on that site in her honor, and then Juan Diego recognized her as the Virgin Mary. He told the local bishop, who wanted proof of the story. Juan Diego went again to the Virgin Mary and she told him to collect flowers and bring them to the bishop. Although it was December, when he went to the top of the hill he found it covered with flowers. He collected the flowers in his cloak and brought them to the bishop. When he removed the flowers, the image of the Virgin Mary appeared on Juan Diego's cloak. 

From 1519-1521, a temple of the mother goddess Tonantzin at Tepeyac was destroyed and a chapel dedicated to the Virgen was constructed on the site. Newly converted Indians came to worship there, but continued to direct their worship to Tonantzin.

On December 11 and 12, millions of people make a pilgrimage to the Basilica, including people from all across Mexico. The news reported that 5.5 million people visited the Basilica yesterday. Lots of people go in groups and I saw various people carrying statues of the Virgen de Guadalupe or with a picture of the Virgen tied to their backs. The plaza was filled with groups dancing. They looked like the Aztec dancers I've seen in the Zócalo -- with drums, shell bracelets on their ankles, feathers, etc-- but I can't explain the connection. I'm assuming people spent the night (11th to the 12th) in the plaza. Some people had set tents up or had marked out their space in corners of the plaza. 

a group entering the Plaza, carrying banners with the
image of the Virgen de Guadalupe

the plaza filled with dancers  

dancers in the plaza

dancers in the plaza

tents in the plaza

dancers in the plaza

not sure the explanation -- but people walked/jumped
across to the other side of the rope with a group
of people dancing below

the original Basilica (Antingua Basilica de Nuestra Señora Guadalupe),
now Templo Expiatorio a Cristo Rey

inside the old Basilica

inside the old Basilica

inside the old Basilica

candles inside the old Basilica

inside the old Basilica

inside the old Basilica

inside the old Basilica

inside the old Basilica

view of the new Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe,
with dancers in front

inside the new Basilica

in the new Basilica

entrance to the museum 

climbing Tepeyac Hill

view of the old Basilica from Tepeyac hill

Panteon del Tepeyac

Chapel on top of Tepeyac Hill, where Juan Diego
saw la Virgen 

"In this place, at dawn on Saturday December 9, 1531,
the Mother of God spoke for the first time with Juan Diego.
On the afternoon of that same day and at dusk on
Sunday December 10 she spoke again with him.
The morning of December 12, Juan Diego
collected from this site the roses that became part of the miracle." 

temple on Tepeyac Hill

inside the Temple on Tepeyac Hill


Templo del Pocito

Antigua Parroquia de Indios 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing these awesome pictures with us. God Bless