There is at least one city celebration a month in Puerto Vallarta and sometimes more! Remembering revolutions, famous Mexicans’ birthdays, religious holidays, political events, municipal milestones and many others offers opportunity for enjoyment and usually a day off from school and work. Parades are organized with various groups participating be they children in uniform, neighborhoods, charros (cowboys) from surrounding ranches on their beautifully groomed horses, brass bands, Aztec dancers, government workers such as firemen and police and of course the military.
Some parades even include floats, city vehicles, and local musicians in the back of pickup trucks with speakers blaring. Add to this excitement all the vendors selling tacos, tamales, tuba (a coconut drink), fruit, pies and cakes, jewelry, hammocks, embroidery, wood-carvings, and much more. Often there are fireworks to end the day. All this is part of the culture and an opportunity to gather with friends and neighbors, laugh, cry, and eat and sing. This is part of the fabric of life in every small town and large city in Mexico. Join in and you will know how good it feels to be part of the people and their joy for life. Besides, what kid (and adult) doesn’t like a parade?
Today, December 12, is the culmination of the past twelve days celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe who represents the Virgin Mary so important to the Catholic religion. Groups walk from all around, some taking overnight, with offerings of fruit and flowers to honor her, get blessed in the church, and have their neighborhood statues of her blessed for the coming year. There are even many items including shirts and bags that are sold with the picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe imprinted on them. This massive annual devotion is unmatched in almost anywhere else in the world.