The December celebrations have officially begun.
On November 31st at 7 pm, the popular tradition of pilgrimage in downtown Puerto Vallarta towards the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe commenced. This marks the start of a series of celebrations that will keep the entire city occupied, from one festivity to another, showcasing the grace and joy of the popular December festivities in Mexico.
The devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe sets a socio-cultural precedent that transcends religious barriers, as pilgrims are not necessarily Catholics; many follow other spiritual doctrines, and some are even atheists. What is distinctive about this tradition is that everyone walks together to venerate the "Tonatzin Tlalli," who is the true image of our Indigenous Peoples that has been cherished by the Mexican people since pre-Hispanic times. The "Tonantzin Tlalli" is seen by our Indigenous Peoples as our venerable Mother Earth, our home, where we must learn to live as true siblings. The ancestral cultures of Puerto Vallarta learned to live in harmony with nature and taught us that we come from it and will return to it. Each of us must learn to integrate with it, love it, and respect it because it provides the sustenance that reaches our mouths. The "Tonantzin Tlalli" is the one who lent us this body that we possess and that we must learn to care for. "Tonantzin" is also "Coatlicue" (skirt of snakes), "Chalchiuhtlicue" (skirt of jades), and also "Tlazolteotl" (the one who devours our impurities). She is the great regenerator of nature that transforms everything.
These ideas, deeply rooted in the ancestral cultures of Indigenous Peoples throughout Mexico, were so strong that the Catholic religion could not destroy them. Over time, it found a way to influence the Indigenous people by creating stories of Catholic deities similar to their own deities. This was how the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared, with characteristics similar to the "Tonantzin Tlalli," and her festivities are held on the same dates. For this reason, hundreds of Mexicans dress in Indigenous attire and dance to Mother Earth with drums and rattles during the celebrations of the Virgin of Guadalupe.