Monday, February 2, 2009

Scenes from San Juan

Today is Candelária, or Candlemas, the festival of the "Presentation of Jesus in the Temple," and - important for understanding why this is a day in which there are pilgrimages to an image of Maria - the festival of the "Purification of the Virgin," celebrating Mary's ritual purification. (We'll set aside for the moment all of the theological, moral, and gender questions that raises. Unfortunately.) It is celebrated 40 days after Christmas, on February 2. (Lo siento if I'm repeating things, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around all of it...)

Here's a one-minute audio history:



Anyway, here are some photos from our own pilgrimage this year. There are lots of people in these photos, illustrating the little-known-in-the-States fact that the Basilica of the Virgen de San Juan de Los Lagos is the second-most visited basilica in Mexico, after the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Pilgrims visit year round, but Candelária is the most popular weekend to visit her. From what we can tell, many, many people visit with their neighborhood parish or with a group of neighborhood parishes together, coming from as far away as Mexico City or Tamaulipas way up in the northeast.

Anyway, here are some photos...

1 comment:

From Michigan with Love said...

WHERE ARE THE CAPTIONS I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON AND AM SO CONFUSED I FEEL LIKE I WAS DUMPED IN MEXICO WITH NO GUILD OR BOOK OR FRIEND IM DROWNING IN A SEA OF INFORMATION :-)