December 12 is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The festivities begin around midnight with a serenade by groups of mariachis and other singers that is kicked off with Las Mananitas, the Mexican birthday song. The Virgin of Guadalupe has symbolized the Mexican nation since Mexico’s War of Independence. Both Miguel Hidalgo and Emiliano Zapata’s armies traveled underneath Guadalupan flags. The Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes once said that “…one may no longer consider himself a Christian, but you cannot truly be considered a Mexican unless you believe in the Virgin of Guadalupe.”
Nobel laureate Octavio Paz wrote in 1974 that “the Mexican people, after more than two centuries of experiments, have faith only in the Virgin of Guadalupe and the National Lottery”
To gain more detailed information about Our Lady of Guadalupe, pop over to Wikipedia.com/Our_Lady_of_Guadalupe
December 12th is the big day for our Lady of Guadalupe. In fact if you turn your television to Channel 41 around 11:00PM , December 11th, you will hear the magnificent serenade in her honor at the Basilica in Mexico City.
The major celebration in the New York City area is the arrival of the Antorcha Guadalupana. People gather in Central Park early in the morning and greet her as she arrives from the journey from the Basilica in Mexico City (the second most visited Roman Catholic shrine in the world) to New York and parade down Fifth Avenue to a splendid High Mass at St. Patrick’s cathedral. For more information go to http://www.tepeyac.org/antorcha/09/
The point of this annual pilgrimage is to unite Mexicans with Mexican/Americans who venerate her on both sides of the border as the patron saint. All along the route, people gather to pay homage and feed the standard bearers who are periodically relieved of their sacred assignment.
For fun facts about Our Lady of Guadalupe visit this site