Today is December 1 and thus begins the start of Christmas in Mexico. In the first 12 days pilgrimages are made all over the cities, with people walking and carrying the Virgin Mary and/ or a nativity scene and always ends at the Guadalupe Church here in Puerto Peñasco. It officially ends on the 12th which is Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe or Virgin of Guadalupe Day. This is followed by groups ranging up to a couple of 100 people.
Each day the parade starts at a different location. Today was the start of them which left the Catholic Church in the Old Port followed by about 150 people. This starts with very large loud fire works that are not colorful but rather a huge BOOM. They walk to all the other Catholic Church and as they go, more and more people walk in. Many hotels and other businesses have decorated their vehicles and they have floats in the parade. On one night most of the beach vendors or shop owners do this only the event ends at my neighbors home with an average of 200 adults and children. I was fortunate a few times to be invited over and love the tradition. They are carrying the Virgin Mary or Virgen de Guadalupe and knock on the door of each home they stop at asking in Spanish if there is room in the inn. When the answer is no, they continue on until they come to the last house where they are granted permission to enter. The sounds of people singing Christmas music in Spanish is so nice and soft. Upon entering, they recite a story asking if there is room in the inn and so it goes back and forth until they are told there is room in the inn. There they all come in and they are all served food and drink. Then the little ones break open the pinata and the parents enjoy beverages. In the case of my neighbor Martin, it was Tequila and Squirt. I dreaded the of mixing good Tequila with Squirt, so a wife of one of the vendors came over and asked “Do you prefer Tequila solamente?” I responded yes by itself. She smiled and said she did also and so we poured our tequila and visited. I was truly amazed, how much the ceremony is like the United States. So I could recite the verse in English. It has such a special meaning to me, to be included in an event like this. Below is the schedule for the rest of the Pilgrimages, so if you are here in Puerto Peñasco do feel to join in or just sit and enjoy as they pass by.
This is the calendar
December 1 - 5:00PM Starts From Church in Old Port
December 2 – 5:00PM Starts From Peñasco del Sol Hotel
December 3 – 5:00PM Starts From The church Juan 23
December 4 – 4:00PM Starts From General Hospital
December 5 – 4:00PM Starts From San Jose Church (La Choya)
December 6 – 5:00PM Starts From Sacred Family Chapel
December 7 – 4:00PM Starts From Cerro de la Virgen (Highway to Sonoyta)
December 8 – 4:30PM Starts From Teresa de Calcuta Church
December 9 – 5:00PM Starts From San Francisco Church
December 10 – 5:00PM Starts From San Judas Tadeo Church
December 11 – 5:00PM Starts From Church in Old Port
On December 15th start the Christmas Posada’s or parties. I believe I may have touched on this before, but the children do not receive their gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas day which has been a Christmas Tradition on the United States and many countries. The children get their gifts on January 6 also known as Los Santos Reyes or is known as the Three Wise Men Day. Rosca de Reyes (Kings’ ring) is the name of the bread that is served. These breads have a little plastic Baby Jesus hidden in them. Then on February 2 it is Dia de la Candelaria and if you are so lucky to have received the Baby Jesus, you get to throw the party and make Tamales. I know this holiday tradition very well as I ALWAYS get the Baby Jesus. Not knowing how to make a small batch of Tamales, I make a dish traditional to New Mexico.
This year with our 15th Annual Bike Week, we did a Toy Run, so for all of those of you that brought toys we will be passing them out in January. It is not to late to donate, send me an email in the comment section or take toys or money if you want us to shop here to the RP360 office. Make sure to come out to the ride and volunteer to help pass out toys or food. It will again be held at the Convention Center and you can ride your bike or drive. Last year we had at least 1500 – 2000 children. Remember this may be the only gift the child receives. Last year I donated a bunch of Beanie Babies I had been collecting and loved the expressions on the little ones faces. The TOY DRIVE will be January 9th and the local clubs have made huge commitments for donations of toys, so come out and join us.
As I was writing this blog, I learned a great deal more than I knew. One thing I just learned that in a real Posada, the Piñata has 7 points that represent the 7 deadly sins. This is not to be confused with 7 Deadly Zins a Lodi, Ca wine. I would like to personally invite you to come to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico for Christmas or any time, it will be the best time of your life.
I am closing with a picture of all the volunteers for the Bike Week registration as we celebrated our successful event and are looking to see you next year. If you see these folks on the street, ask them about volunteering with the toy drive or to help collect toys. They wall all be more than happy to help you. Also check out Madre Park across from the Tiburon Baseball Stadium on Benito Juarez as it is getting all decorated for Christmas.
Until next time, have a very Feliz Navidad and Prospero Año Nuevo