Cozumel celebrates Our Lady of Guadalupe Holiday on December 12th. Mexico and Central America celebrate this holiday in honor of Dia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe). Our Lady of Guadalupe is a tradition that started in the 1600′s. Our Lady of Guadalupe is also known as the Virgin Mary and is the most popular religious and cultural image in Mexico with titles such as “Queen of Mexico”, “Empress of the Americas” and the “Patroness of the Americas”. “Guadalupe Day” is the most important religious holiday for many, as it honors the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico.
In Cozumel, as in all of Mexico, you will see processions on their way to Church to pray from every colony in the island. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church goes all out for her on her day. It is named after her, you will see a big Statue to her out front. Our Lady of Guadalupe is located on 65th Avenida and Calle 8. Norte. It is a beautiful sight to behold. Many pin Milagros or “miracles” and paper or real roses near the statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe to pay homage. These Milagros are small silver or tin objects in the shape of hearts, arms or legs that symbolize the givers’ thanks for the cure of those articles. Festivals include eating along with praying. Mexican television will broadcast the event that takes place in the Basilica of Guadalupe live. Thousands of people travel from all over Mexico to attend the beautiful Service.
How It Started: On the morning of December 9, 1531, Juan Diego, a simple peasant, saw a vision of a young woman in the early morning while walking home on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City, Mexico. The young woman was surrounded by light and told Diego that she wanted a church built in her honor at that site. Diego recognized that she was the Virgin Mary. When he told a bishop of his vision the bishop asked Diego to return to the Lady and ask her to show a miraculous sign for proof. Diego returned to the Lady and she told him to gather flowers from the hill. It was winter and the flowers had not bloomed. Yet, that day Diego found flowers of every sort. Upon returning the Virgin fashioned the flowers into a peasant cloak. Three days later the when Diego opened the cloak for the bishop the flowers fell to the floor and imprint of the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe showed miraculously on Diego’s cloak. Today the cloak is displayed in the Basilica of Guadalupe.
In December of 2010 my family and I happened to be driving from the United States to Cozumel. On December 12th we drove from the early morning way into the night. We had missed our normal stop and drove until three or four in the morning until we found a hotel. Amazingly, we passed young people running with their torches in the dark over mountains. The entire experience from morning to-night was beautiful and magical.