Each year beginning on December 1 and through December 12, thousands of people arrive in Puerto Vallarta to celebrate Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, or the Day of Our Lady Guadalupe, the city’s main church carrying the same name.
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Our Lady of Guadalupe is commonly known as the Virgin Mary and she is no ordinary being. In 1531 she appeared four times to an indigenous Christian convert, Juan Diego, on Cerro del Tepeyac (Tepeyac Hill). Over the centuries she’s been credited with all manner of miracles, and has become Mexico’s patron saint. Little wonder her big day is considered such a big deal.
In Puerto Vallarta thousands of people will participate in the nightly pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe church in downtown Puerto Vallarta. The streets are filled for twelve nights with music, celebration, and the colors of Mexico as people make their way with gifts for the Lady of Guadalupe altar in the church.
The nightly candlelit pilgrimages are one of the area’s most celebrated traditions during the Christmas season in Puerto Vallarta. The last night of the pilgrimages, December 12, is by far the most crowded and exciting closed by a special service honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe at the church and in the streets. Like any true celebration in Puerto Vallarta, the evening finishes with a fireworks show over the Bay of Banderas.