By Kim Marquez • Official Kids Mag
Every year on December 12, since 1859, Mexican Catholics celebrate el Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) in Mexico and in many parts of the United States. Our Lady of Guadalupe is a Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary who is mother of Jesus. On this day, tens of thousands of people travel to Mexico City to visit the place where the Virgin appeared to many devout Catholics.
“Our Lady of Guadalupe represents for us Catholics, a deep devotion that fills us with faith and trust with her miracles, of which we are witnesses day by day, we know that she is very miraculous, that is why we bring this prayer to the Virgin of Guadalupe who is very powerful. She fulfills any request you have been waiting for,” explained Martha Garcia, a Mexican-American and devout Catholic living in Northwest Arkansas.
In the United States, Mexican Catholics gather at local churches to celebrate and give thanks to Our Lady of Guadalupe with a mass ceremony and a traditional fair in her honor. In Mexico, hundreds of people make their way to Mexico’s main religious center at the Basilica of the Virgen of Guadalupe. The Basilica is a big church located in Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo, a neighborhood north of Mexico City.
This holiday is a special and memorable day for Our Lady of Guadalupe and her followers. People celebrate with a national fiesta that includes traditional music and fun attractions for children and adults. Also, foods like buñuelos, raspados, and tortas are served, and people join in on activities like parades, rodeos, and bullfights.
“During the celebration people bring presents to the virgin to honor and give her thanks for protecting them. While some people bring bouquets of flowers, others perform dances and song for her. People looking for a miracle to be granted walk on their knees on the stone street leading up to the Basilica,” Martha added.