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During the first 12 days of December in Puerto Vallarta, traditional pilgrimages are made in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe. We invite you to discover more about this enduring Mexican tradition.
For centuries, the Virgin of Guadalupe has been venerated by thousands of Mexicans. Legend holds that during one of her appearances to native Indian Juan Diego, her image miraculously manifested upon his cloak and that cloak remains today framed in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. According to Catholic sources, the dates of these apparitions were between September and December 12, 1531
In Vallarta, the celebration occurs with pilgrimages to the Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in the center of the tourist district. Such processions have been carried out since the church was built in 1921 but in 1942 they began to take on a larger scale.
Generally, processions will begin in the afternoon or evening at the corner of Juarez Street and 31st of October Street; however, some hotels and businesses prefer to start from their own locations. As they make their way down the streets, participants with sing praise in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Along the way, particularly in the downtown area, street vendors will sell typical Mexican snacks. Lining the sideways on both sides of the street you will find a wide variety of foods such as tamales, corn, atole (a Mexican sweet drink), sugared churros, fried bananas, tostadas, pozole (a traditional soup), enchiladas and tacos among other options.
The largest pilgrimage occurs on December 11th, with a special tribute to the disadvantaged and to lost children occurring around noon. Children wear outfits made of traditional woven blanket material and the pilgrims continue arriving until 11:30pm. Shortly before midnight, the faithful gather at the Church of Guadalupe to sing “Las mañanitas”, a traditional Latin American birthday song, to the Virgin.