Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico in 2024

Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico in 2024
  How long until Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe?
Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe
  Dates of Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico
2025 Mexico Fri, Dec 12 Statutory Holiday
2024 Mexico Thu, Dec 12 Statutory Holiday
2023 Mexico Tue, Dec 12 Statutory Holiday
2022 Mexico Mon, Dec 12 Statutory Holiday
2021 Mexico Sun, Dec 12 Statutory Holiday

The Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe marks an appearance of the Virgin Mary to a young indigenous man on December 12th 1531.

When is the Virgin of Guadalupe Day?

This national holiday in Mexico is always celebrated on December 12th. It marks an appearance of the Virgin Mary to a young indigenous man on December 12th 1531.

Though this holiday is listed as a national holiday and is a holiday for banks, for most companies it is a working day. Many companies may organise masses and meals for their employees.

How is the Virgin of Guadalupe Day celebrated?

On this day people from all parts of Mexico make their way to Mexico's chief religious center at the Basilica of the Virgen of Guadalupe, located in Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo, a northern neighbourhood of Mexico City. There, they will celebrate the Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) with a mass ceremony and a traditional fair in her honor. Mary became the patron saint of Mexico in 1746 and the Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe became a national holiday in 1859.

Today, tens of thousands of people travel to Mexico City to visit the place where the Virgin appeared to the Mexican People. The holiday is a national fiesta that includes traditional music and fun attractions. Pilgrims bring presents to the virgin, usually bouquets of flowers while other visitors will perform dances and song for her. Some pilgirms walk on their knees on the stone street leading to the Basilica, asking for miracles or giving thanks to the virgin for a petition granted.

At the plaza the fiesta starts after the mass ceremony with delicious food, vendors selling crafts and clothes, along with many performences of music and dance. In other parts of Mexico, similar festivities are organized with some unique variations of the celebration. In some places, altars of flowers are built in her honor. Other parts have traditional food prepared like buñuelos, raspados and tortas as well as activities like parades, rodeos, and bullfights.

History of the Virgin of Guadalupe Day

The Story behind this celebration demonstrates how the Catholic faith gained importance in the hearts of the Mexican people. It is a story of miracles and faith that marks an important change in the history of Mexico.

The Spaniards, after they conquered Mexico, had in mind the goal of converting the indigenous indians into catholicism. But the spaniards encountered many difficulties because the Mexican people had existing strong beliefs in their many gods. It wasn't until the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Juan Diego that this started to change.

Juan Diego was a young indigenous Indian walking toward the Hill of Tepeyac on December 12th 1531 when he was stopped by the appearance of the Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary appearing to Juan Diego was a young woman with black hair and dark skin which looked more like an indigenous person. She ordered Juan Diego to go to the Bishop and ask him to build a church at the Hill of Tepeyac. Juan Diego then ran to the Bishop to tell him what the Virgin Mary had told him. The Bishop didn't believe what this young man was telling him and decided to ignore the petition.

The Virgin Mary appeared again in front of Juan Diego and told him to collect flowers from the top of the hill, but because it was December Juan Diego knew that there was not going to be any flowers at the rocky hill. Upon reaching the top of the hill, Juan Diego was surprised to see that it was covered with colorful and beautiful flowers. Juan Diego, as he was asked to, collected the flowers using his overcoat and ran again to see the Bishop.

Juan Diego gave the coat full of flowers to the bishop, and here the bishop discovered the image of Virgin Mary's picture was miraculously traced on the coat. Seeing both the unseasonal flowers and the image of the Virgin, the Bishop realized Juan Diego had told him the truth, and The Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe was built on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico City.

Did you know?

The basilica at Tepeyac is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world, and the world's third most-visited sacred site

The pilgrimages to the Basilica of Guadalupe began with the appearances, though historical records only record the first celebration of the Virgin in 1667, some 136 years after the last appearance supposedly occurred. In that year, December 12th was instituted in Mexico as the Day in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe through a papal bull from Clement IX. 

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