Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holidays In Guatemala

I've been thinking a lot about what Christmas will be like this year. We are, of course, beaming with joy for the blessings of this year's Christmas. Getting approved by PGN was the only gift we wished for. We know that Luciana will be home soon, and it makes this holiday that much sweeter. We are reminded of our First Christmas with Sam, and we are sentimental thinking of my brother and his wife enjoying their First with Jaiden. Luciana will spend her First Christmas with Magda and her family, and in a way, I am trying to convince myself that is where she should experience this magical holiday. (That's not to say I wouldn't prefer her home and would move heaven and earth if I could have her here today, but I am doing everything I can to get through missing her.) We will have the rest of her Christmas', but this may the only one she spends in Guatemala, and the only one with her first family. I ache for her, but I have to find a way to be okay with missing her for this special time of year.

I decided to look into what is going on in Guatemala during this Christmas season, and thought I'd bring my discoveries back here to share with you. I thought that I had a general idea of Guatemalan traditions and celebrations, but it has been fun to learn more!

The following is a brief article I found online.
Source: St. Mary

Day of Our Lady Guadalupe

"Guadalupe day, December 12, is Mexico’s most important religious holiday. On this day people from all over Mexico travel to the chapel Tepayac Hill in Mexico City, where the mother of Jesus is said to have appeared before an Indian peasant named Juan Diego back in 1531. Mary told Juan to go to the bishop and ask that a church be built on the hill so she could be close to her people. The bishop, needing proof of this vision, asked Juan to have a miracle performed by Mary. Juan returned to Tepayac Hill and found roses growing where there had only been cacti. Juan wrapped the roses in his tilma (cape) along with a picture of Mary to show the bishop. He was convinced and the chapel was built.

Huge fiestas are held all over Mexico and Central America to honor the day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Throughout the day, people come to the church to pray. Many of them pin milagros (which means miracles) near the statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe. These small silver or tin objects are shaped like hearts, arms, or legs, and symbolize the giver’s thanks for a cure."

Check out great pics of children in traditional clothing at this years Virgin of Guadalupe Celebrations on December 12 in Antigua. (**Top photo is Erin and Azucen@**)


Bobbi said...

Wish I had you for research papers in college!!

Thanks for the info.

You are right. It does seem right that is where they spend their first Christmas. But, we miss them when they aren't with us.

Steph said...

I have really enjoyed learning about Guatemalan Christmas traditions, too. I think I will try my hand at some Christmas tamales next year. But, I will probably need a back-up plan!!