Festival – Mexico

Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe

This fiesta is based on the legend of Juan Diego and the Virgin Mary.  Juan Diego was sent up a hill in 1531 to collect roses and during this trip he saw the Virgin Mary.  She gave him a message to give to the friars and he asks what he should do if they don’t believe him and he responded by imprinting a beautiful picture on his cloak.  Ever since then there has been a big festival every year to celebrate the anniversary of the “Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe.”

My informant is a first-generation American, so obviously there will be Mexican festivals carried over into his generation from the generation of his parents.  My informant’s mother is Mexican, while his father is Panamanian and Danish.  Therefore, the family carries over the mother’s roots when it comes to Spanish festivals and traditions.  This festival that occurs every year to remember the Virgin of Guadalupe is one that is celebrated all over Mexico.  My informant heard about this festival from his family since it is an oral tradition.

This festival occurs during the week before Christmas and lasts all the way until “La dia de los Tres Reyes,” which occurs on January 6th.   According to my informant on the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe children go to church. The boys dress like Juan Diego in memory of the man who saw the Virgin of Guadalupe.  There is a huge party that has different booths like a carnival.  There is also a lot of dancing at the festival.

The reason why this festival is so important in my informant’s world today is because he has a lot of pride in his culture.  Being the first man from his family born in America, my informant feels it is important to carry over the roots of his family’s culture into his American culture.  When I asked my informant what he thought about the festival, he stated that it is “a great festival even though I don’t celebrate it because I am not that religious; but my family from Mexico does celebrate it.  I think that is a great festival because it reminds Mexicans of their Catholic beliefs.”

From talking to my informant, I really feel as though he is extremely dedicated to his culture.  He believes that family and tradition are two important values in his life, and without them he would feel empty.  I admire my informant for being so religious and enriched in his culture.

Annotation:  This “Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe” was found at