A procession stuffed with Aztec dancers, mojigangas and floats with recreations of the Virgin Mary produced its way by means of downtown Phoenix and up to the courtyard of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Basilica on Saturday.
The procession, structured by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, commenced at the corner of Washington and 8th streets and ended with an outdoor mass and the praying of the rosary in entrance of the Basilica.
The colourful and musical party — made up of more than 60 teams symbolizing church buildings, dance troupes and musicians — kicked off the 9 times of Novena of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Mexican Catholic observance that finishes on the feast day for the patron saint of México.
The feast commemorates the tale of the Virgin Mary showing to St. Juan Diego in 1531 on the web site that is now home to the Basilica of Our Woman of Guadalupe in México Town.
In México, the 9-day period of time is observed with each day processions, re-enactments and prayer, culminating in a celebration that commences with a mass at midnight on Dec. 12 and a pageant-like celebration that lasts most of the day.
Every single yr, hundreds of thousands of devout Catholics make the pilgrimage to the Basilica in México Metropolis at the commencing of the Novena to shell out homage to the Virgin of Guadalupe.
For immigrants and kids of immigrants in Phoenix, this celebration offers a slice of property.
Just after ten many years of accomplishing, Karen Carillo, who danced with the Danza Morenita Del Tepeyac from the St. Vincent de Paul Church in Phoenix, nevertheless feels a spiritual connection.
“When we start off dancing, we thank the Virgin Mary and thank God for offering us an additional working day to be equipped to do this for them,” she stated. “I mainly just speak to him even though I’m performing the dance.”
She just can’t think of a better way to categorical her faith than as a result of dance, which also connects her to household. The dance group of about a dozen was designed up of brothers, sisters, and other near loved ones customers.
The identical is accurate for Miguel Tapia, who worked with his loved ones to make a dwell “nacimiento” or nativity scene of Christ’s birth on the back again of their truck, which was a part of the procession on Saturday.
“It begun with my mom, who employed to do a social gathering each and every 12th of December for the Virgin Mary,” he stated. “And then we understood a guy from in which we grew up in México that arrived about and taught us a dance he realized.”
His daughters, 8 and 6 many years aged, and their cousins have been a portion of the float. One particular of his daughters was dressed as the Virgin Mary.
The pandemic had prevented the procession from staying held downtown in 2020. Alternatively, smaller sized processions took place around the Valley.
“Last 12 months however felt very good,” reported Jose Mejia, a dancer who carried a “mojiganga,” a huge paper mache puppet, during the procession. “But it was limited, rather much just walked one particular or two blocks. It was extremely speedy in comparison to how it normally is.”
This yr still did not really feel quite ideal. “There had been even now a good deal considerably less people today currently,” he discussed. “A good deal of seats had been vacant. Two, a few a long time in the past, all the front seats ended up packed.”
Individuals were however worried about the pandemic, he guessed. Mejia also made use of to dance in a group, but the team had been dwindling. Past calendar year his mother, who started out the team, made a decision to begin creating “mojigangas” as a way to continue to be a element of the parade.
But Mejia misses the dancing.
“I truly feel like it helps make me exclusive,” he said. “I grew up in México and then I came to the U.S. And when I first received right here … I felt like I did not in shape in. So this day — my lifestyle, the dancing and food stuff — it is what can make me different and helps make me unique.”
Obtaining to be a aspect of this screen of Mexican lifestyle in Phoenix would make him truly feel at house, Mejia explained.
His hope is that this party grows as a lot as it has in earlier decades. “It just would be superior to see it once more. Traditions from Mexico that have been brought to the U.S.”
Achieve La Voz reporter Miguel Torres at [email protected] or on Twitter @MTorresTweet.
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