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The Virgin of Guadalupe Video

A Family Shrine to the Virgin of GuadalupeDuring the making of the video below, we actively pursued and investigated the activities going on in and around Merida leading up to El Día de La Virgen de Guadalupe. Even with planning and three people, we could cover only a small part of the action.

The festivities started several days ahead of the actual day. Individual families and neighborhoods held novenas and parties to honor la Virgen. Houses were decorated and whole streets were blocked off. Families prepared meals to share, decorated altars with as many flowers and lights as they could find, and brought out all their Virgen pictures, posters, statues and paintings. "Ven más tarde!" (come by later!), they would say to us, "there will be mariachis!" We never actually heard a single mariachi band, but since everyone was talking about them, we imagine they were all over town.

A Novena in Merida

One gentleman we met was holding a novena in honor of his wife who had been dead for twelve years. Her picture was prominently displayed below the larger painting of la Virgen on his altar, which adorned the entire front of his home. When we saw him at about 5:00 pm, young men were setting up the sound system. When we came by at 10:30 pm, we had missed the mass held in front of his house and the procession where the statue of the Virgen was carried around the block. All the neighbors and guests were Photos at a Novenanow sitting around, being served food by his daughters. One friend was handing out cold beers to anyone who wanted them. We couldn’t wait around for the mariachi band that was due to show up at midnight, but the neighbors seemed very content doing just that.

We also couldn’t get up early enough on Tuesday morning to hear Las Mañanitas (mañanitas is the name of a morning-blooming flower in Mexico) being sung to la Virgen in Merida’s San Cristobal church. Las Mañanitas is the traditional birthday song of Mexico and is sung all over the country to honor the Virgen on her day. There must be a special place in heaven for the people who sing it the earliest, because the first scheduled event at the church was at 3:00 am. Maybe we’ll make it there next year.

Little Juan DiegoAs you’ll see in the video, we went to the church in Uman, a smaller city south of Merida and to San Cristobal in Merida, both centers of much activity on that day. We couldn’t follow the riders and runners back to their villages to all the outlying churches where additional services and celebrations were conducted throughout Yucatan on Tuesday. But we did get to mingle with the crowds and see the babies dressed like little Juan Diegos or tiny Virgenes. We also saw the Bishop of Merida as he officiated at the wedding of a few (chosen?) couples in front of a packed church. We saw young women dressed traditionally as indigenias (indigenous), handing out flowers and fresh vegetables.

What we took away from these experiences was a respect for the real devotion and love Mexicans feel for this uniquely Mexican deity, and especially by so many of the young. With people riding and running from everywhere to everywhere, the events were a study in The Virgin and Juan Diegoorganized chaos. Probably the most exciting moment was standing in the crowd on Monday night in front of San Cristobal as white-clad nuns drove up through the crowd in a minivan. About six nuns with guitars stepped out and then the van continued through the crowd, followed by another car carrying a big glowing rose, draped with a Mexican flag and bearing a lit statue of la Virgen in the middle. Young men kneeled as la Virgen passed by on her float. As the crowd surged into the church for a mass with the singing nuns, we bought our Virgen memorabilia (tshirts, socks, hanging lights) and took our tired bodies home.

The whole event reminded us of nothing so much as a three-day Grateful Dead concert. There were people of all ages, singing, eating, sweating and enjoying each other’s company in common worship of something beloved, of Something Greater Than Themselves. It was exhilarating, touching, fun and inspiring. We hope this 8-minute video conveys a little bit of that for you. Enjoy!

For more of the history and background of this day, see our El Dia de La Virgen de Guadalupe article.

If you don’t see the video player below after a few moments, you probably need to install Flash Player 8. If you do see it, then click the Play button on the left to start the video. Enjoy!

Special Note: We would like to assure our audience that absolutely nobody named Joseph Sabido was harmed during the making of this production. Gracias, Joseph!

 


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22 Responses to “The Virgin of Guadalupe Video”

  1. hahaha no harm done, just sore hands because of the heavy camera, but it was fun!

    Great video!

  2. Lovely video. You are making me homesick and I’m not from Yucatan. I was born and bred in Kansas. Thanks so much for your work in putting that together!

  3. All I can say is THANK YOU!

    You transported me just where I want to be!

    -Nancy

  4. On a 2005 trip to Merida, we attended a mass at the Catherdral procided over by the Bishop. That day the service was in Mayan and Spanish. His vestments had been embroidered by Mayan women…you cannot imagine how wonderously beautiful the vivid colors and gold threaded designs were as they flowed down the panels and wraps of his robes!

  5. Thanks for the great article and video. I always enjoy your images and word pictures. I especially liked the San Cristobal area pictures and the food vendors. Warmest Christmas blessings to you both.

  6. The video of La Virgen de Guadalupe was marvelous. It brought tears to my eyes… Would it be possible to have a copy to show my students? ¡Feliz Navidad!

  7. Wonderful video! I almost felt like I was in Merida again. Have you ever seen very large groups of people running? A friend from northern Mexico says his home town has runs of hundreds of people at once. The video shows several running groups, but they are smaller. Just wondered.

  8. that was spectacular!

  9. “I LOVE IT”

  10. it is a wonderful video it made feel like i was there i miss yucatan a lot /would you eventually do somenthing about celestun or tetiz that will be awsome great job keep it up

  11. The best part of this video is that it’s here to relive throughout the year. You captured the heart and soul of Mayan Mexican Merida. Bravo!

  12. My brother just recently passed away, and on his jourmey before he slipped away, he was humming the virgin of Guadalupe’s birthday song. I’d love to hear it if anyone knows it? Thank you so much…

  13. The song you are referring to is called Las Mañanitas. You can download an MP3 version of it here.

  14. [...] across the street. For more about the celebrations on this special day, see Yucatan Living’s video about Virgin of Guadalupe Day, our Día de La Virgen article and our photo gallery for [...]

  15. GREAT JOB DUDES THAT WAS SO WICKED LIKE NARLLY DUDE GOOD JOB AND SINCE WERE JUST HOURS AWAY FROM LA VIRGIN B-DAY I WANT TO WISH HER THE BEST B-DAY AND THAT WE ALL LUV HER OK FELIZ CUMPLANOS VIRGIN DE GUADALUPE DE 2007 AND TODAY IS 12-11-07 TODAY IN FULLERTON CA AT 5 IN THE MORNING THERE WILL BE A MASS IF ANYONE THAT LIVES NEAR BY WANTS TO ASIST IT GETS REALLY GREAT SO GO IF YOU CAN AND HOPE GOD BLESS ALL YALL IGHT TAKECARE MUCH LOVE, A BROTHER FROM THE HOOD

  16. [...] books at her home. For more about the celebrations on this special day, see Yucatan Living ’s video about Virgin of Guadalupe Day, our Día de La Virgen article and our photo gallery. Location: Casa Morado, Calle 54 x 49 y 51. [...]

  17. THIS VIDEO WAS THE CLOSEST THING TO HOME I HAVE SEEN IN TEN YEARS. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS…

  18. SOY DE TENECI Y PIENZO QUE ES UNA MUY BONITA TRADISION

  19. nice bikes and nice song

  20. this video brought tears to my eyes and overwhelming love to my heart….the true devotion is magnificent to watch……and the food was for your body thus completeting the nurturing.

  21. This video was very touching and beautiful. I have heard how the Vigren de Guadalupe was honored in Mexico. It was very touching and I felt like I was there celebrating with you all.
    Thank you for sharing it with us. God bless all of you!

  22. Thank you very much for making and sharing this video. It made me feel like I was there!

    To hear the beautiful birthday song, go here:
    http://www.musicalspanish.com/flashdemo3.htm

    To read the sweet lyrics in English and Spanish, go here:
    http://www.lucerito.net/mananitas.htm
    or here: http://gomexico.about.com/od/historyculture/qt/mananitas.htm

    I hope it is permitted to post these links. If they don’t appear in my post, just google “Las Mañanitas” to find similar sites.

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