The holiday season in Mexico is full of family celebrations and colorful decorations, and of all the Puerto Vallarta festivals 2022 has, the Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the biggest. Celebrated throughout the country on the days leading up to December 12, this festival honors the Virgin Mary and her role in Mexican culture. Beginning on December 1st, communities from around the region come together, filling each night with music and laughter.
Puerto Vallarta is one of the best places to celebrate under the light of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, the famous cathedral along the Malecon boardwalk. If you’re visiting Puerto Vallarta this winter, you won’t want to miss out on these 12 days of lively festival and events.
The history of the Virgin de Guadalupe begins in 1531 outside Mexico City when the Virgin Mary appeared to a young peasant boy named Juan Diego, speaking in his native Nahuatl language. With her encouragement, the young Juan convinced the archbishop of Mexico City to build a church on the Hill of Tepeyac. The persuading point for the archbishop was when the image of the Virgin appeared inside the cloak of Juan Diego. Over time, richer and more elaborate shrines were built on the hill, and today, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a major pilgrimage site in the suburbs of Mexico City. Its most famous relic is Juan Diego’s cloak, on which you can still see the Virgin Mary’s image.
December 12 is the date when Juan Deigo’s cloak appeared with the image of the Lady of Guadalupe before the archbishop, and today, it’s the date for the Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Like most festival and events in Mexico, this holiday is stretched over several days, beginning on December 1. Throughout the country, pilgrims make their way to cathedrals, some even traveling to the Hill of Tepeyac to honor the Virgin Mary.
After 11 days of pilgrimages, at midnight on December 12, “Las Mananitas” is sung to the Virgin at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Hundreds of faithful believers gather to sing this typical birthday song in Mexico, bring flowers and thank the favors granted by the virgin.
For the whole day, visitors come to the parish during these festive events. At noon the pilgrimage of the favored takes place where a massive concentration of people walk for several hours to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe in an atmosphere of joy and devotion. These annual Puerto Vallarta events are the perfect occasion to dive into Mexican culture while learning about Mexican traditions and festivities.
During this series of festive events in Puerto Vallarta, Juarez Street – along which pilgrimages processions take place – and Plaza de Armas are filled with stalls selling all kinds of Mexican novelties, snacks, and desserts. Many families gather there to watch the pilgrimages go by while enjoying their favorite snacks during the Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta.
Whether you are a believer or not, come and experience Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day in Puerto Vallarta! You will witness this great cultural manifestation of Mexican people and you will be able to enjoy a great variety of typical Mexican food at favored prices.