The Virgin’s Gift: Why Millions Flock to Mexico City on December 12th?

 “What is the captivating story of Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe?”

The Birth of a Spiritual Fusion: Spanish Arrival and Indigenous Beliefs in the Americas:

As we embark on the historical narrative of La Virgen de Guadalupe, it is critical to recognize the profound influence of transculturation on her story and the broader Mexican culture. Transculturation, or the blending and exchange of cultural components that arises from the interaction of many cultures, is significant in the tale of La Virgen de Guadalupe. This story highlights the fusion of indigenous Aztec traditions and Spanish Catholicism. 

Witnessing Divinity: Juan Diego and the Apparition of La Virgen de Guadalupe:

Tepeyac (or Tepeyacac) hill was dedicated to the worship of the Aztec deity Tonantzin. According to the legend, on December 9, 1531, the mother of God appears to Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, a 50-year-old indigenous Christian convert, as he walks to attend mass at a neighboring Spanish Franciscan mission. She addressed Juan Diego in Nahuatl, his native tongue, and asked him to notify Bishop Juan de Zumarrage of her intention to establish a shrine in her honor. Juan Diego was uncertain that the offer would be accepted by church officials, so he requested La Virgen to present him with proof that would persuade bishop Juan de Zumárraga to accept. When Juan Diego headed to the hill, La Virgen came again and instructed him to gather roses from the top of Tepeyac Hill, which was odd because it was a wintertime and roses did not grow at that time. Juan Diego spotted roses and collected them in his cloak (tilma), intending to deliver them to the bishop upon his return. As he unfolded his cloak, the Virgin’s image was imprinted, dispersing Castilian roses across the flooring. The image depicted the Virgin as having a dark complexion, standing in front of the sun, with the moon at her feet, and encircled by a mandorla of stars, blending Christian iconography with indigenous motifs. This transcultural story became profoundly embedded in Mexican society, serving as a symbol of unity, optimism, and faith for indigenous and mestizo (mixed-race) communities alike.

Deepening Faith: La Virgen de Guadalupe and the Traditions We Hold Dear:

Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Feast is profoundly established in Mexican culture. The most prominent aspects of the December 12th celebration are the vibrant procession and parades that take place in numerous regions of Mexico and among the Mexican community worldwide. Participants in the celebrations typically wear traditional Mexican costume, which varies by place but generally includes bright gowns, sombreros, and indigenous garments embellished with beautiful patterns and motifs specific to that region. Prior to December 12th, Guadalupanos participate in prayerful and penitential vigils. Vigils comprise nocturnal prayers and singing in churches, supplying a spiritual  and social experience.The most important is at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, where millions of people congregate. Around 4:00 a.m. on December 12th, mariachi bands and singers gather at churches and shrines to perform “Las Mañanitas, a traditional Mexican birthday song. 

​Cada Mexicano que salí de México, salí con la Virgen de Guadalupe.


Chávez, Eduardo, et al. Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Diego : The Historical Evidence. Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, Inc., 2006.  

Los Incomparables del Rancho are dedicating a song to our Heavenly Mother, La Virgen de Guadalupe.

Los Incomparables del Rancho dedican una canción a nuestra Madre Celestial, La Virgen de Guadalupe.

Mariachi Aguila Y Plata performs “Paloma Blanca,” a classic tune.

Mariachi Aguila Y Plata interpretan la canción “Paloma Blanca”.

“Mariachi Aguila Y Plata delivers a brief heartfelt interpretation of the classic traditional, “La Guadalupana”.

El Mariachi Aguila Y Plata ofrece una interpretación emotiva de la tradición clásica, “La Guadalupana”.

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About Jennifer Diaz Ventura 1 Article
Greetings! I'm Jennifer Diaz Ventura, a recent graduate from CUNY Lehman, where I pursued a dual major in Anthropology and History. My academic career has been motivated by a never-ending interest in the riches of human culture and history.