|OUR LADY OF ZAPOPAN
|Patron Saint of Guadalajara
La "llevada de la Virgen" is a family affair ...
As a city with a very religious population, Guadalajara is well known by "La llevada de la Virgen de
Zapopan" which is celebrated on October 12th of each year. On March of each year Our Lady of Zapopan is taken out of her Basilica
so that the image (the statue is about 12 inches tall) can visit Guadalajara's people thus visiting every big church
in the city. This is not every individual (person) responsibility; this event, can be certainly said is a family affair. Entire
families come and are part of this pilgrimage every year. Most people do not go to work or to school in order to be part of
this magnificent event.
Faith moves mountains...
Her visits are one day long and the Image is taken from one church to another around the City.
On October 12th, thousands of people walk from the Cathedral (located in downtown of Guadalajara) to
the Basilica of Zapopan (about 4 to 5 hours walking distance) in order to take Our Lady of Zapopan (image/statue) back home.
The pilgimage is made out of clubes(merchants, sports, etc, "matachines" - people dressed up as indigenous dancers in honor
to our lady, and the regular people whose devotion to Our Lady of Zapopan is so great that are willing to undergo hunger,
tiredness, thirst and so many other nuances in order to court and accompany Our Lady of Zapopan back to the Basilica (faith
Another one of our popular (and maybe the best) traditions is the pinata:
A traditional Pinata is made out of an empty clay container, covered with a lot of layers of paper (usually
old newspaper) glued to it with 7 big pointing cones placed in a way that 'create' a big star with seven horns, which are
cdecorated with colorfull paper.
The root of this tradition has also a religious background since the Franciscans priests (missionaries that
arrived with Spaniards conquerors to Mexico) used it to cathechize the Indigenous people.
Every element of the pinata has a meaning;
- The clay pot symbolizes the earth.
- The seven horns symbolize the 7 capital sins (around the earth)
- The horns, simbolize the sins covered with colorful colors to disguise
- The stick, to hit the pinata, represents the faith that we (the community) have
- There is a blinfolded person, who reminds us that we are in this world
not knowing what is coming up to our life and that it is our faith in God that keep us going through life.
- People (community with loud voices) guide you towards the pinata, - so you can hit it- and destroy
it. Thus destroying the sin around your world.
- The same happens when you do not know your way out of a problem or situation and the community helps you
- guides you -
- When the Pinata is broken up, candies (the blessings of God), shower the community and the person who broke
I guess you could say that traditions can be lots of things: Old, serious, but also fun...