Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Festival of Guadalupe
Every year from December 1st through 12th the streets of Puerto Vallarta come alive with festivities, processions and religious fervor culminating with the celebration of the Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Known in Spanish as Dia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, this important religious and social festival commemorates the miraculous appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe to a peasant in Mexico.
It was on the same day in 1851 that Puerto Vallarta was founded by Don Guadalupe Sanchez; thus, the 12th of December, also marks the anniversary of the founding of Puerto Vallarta.
During this annual occasion, various groups, organizations and associations in Puerto Vallarta converge and participate in the pilgrimage to Puerto Vallarta's Cathedral, also known as the Church of Our Lady Of Guadalupe. This unique structure is a famous landmark in its own right, as its elaborate crown - allegedly designed to resemble a tiara worn by one of Emperor Maximilian's mistresses - simply cannot be overlooked.
Everyone is expected to pay homage to the Virgin of Guadalupe, Puerto Vallarta's revered patron saint. On the eve of the December 12th, the last procession congregates at the Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort and begins its journey towards the Cathedral. Once the procession reaches its destination, a special mass in devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated.
Baptisms, confirmations, first holy communions and even weddings take place within the local community to coincide with this special and blessed date. Fireworks decorate and light up the skies, folk dance groups perform, traditional parades entertain the crowds, people sing hymns and songs of praise in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and the central plaza is filled to the brim with street vendors selling fruits, food, local products and other specialties. The festival successfully combines ancient Aztec traditions with modern Christian symbolism.
If you plan to go to Puerto Vallarta in December, don't miss the Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe!