No image is as distinctively Mexican as the Virgin of Guadalupe, with her characteristic spiky aura and blue robe with gold stars. The Virgin of Guadalupe, who is also called Our Lady of Guadalupe, was actually an apparition who, appeared on December 12, 1531 to Juan Diego while he was walking towards Hill of Tepeyac. The Virgin eventually became a symbol of freedom for the Mexican people as Mexico struggled for independence. She also represents s a mixture of the indigenous people and the Spaniards, and is often considered the first Mestiza, or native Mexican, being neither Spanish or Indian. Today the Virgin De Guadalupe is celebrated as both a religious iconic and pop culture symbol of Mexico. Thousands of people travel to Mexico every year to visit her shrine, leave flowers on her altar, and pray for her intercession.
Her feast day (December 12) is celebrated as a Mexican national holiday, with traditional food, dancing and processionals. Here in Denver, the Virgin of Guadalupe is being celebrated throughout December.
To honor Our Lady of Guadalupe the Denver Art Museum (DAM) is offering FREE general admission for three weeks starting Dec. 11 so the public can view a painting of the Lady created in 1779 by Sebastian Salcedo. Download the FREE pass here. DAM hours are Tuesday-Sunday10M-5PM. The museum stays open until 8PM on Fridays. Through Dec. 31.
Be sure to stop by CHAC Gallery Norte 774 Santa Fe Drive for their "Celebrating our Lady of Guadalupe and Christmas Mercado." Plus, right next door CHAC Gallery at 772 Santa Fe Dr. is offering their annual Fair Trade Market. Support artisans around the world less fortunate than we, as you enjoy a delightful Holiday shopping experience. For holiday hours and more www.chacweb.org.
Finally, to commemorate the Virgin at home the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recommends that you share a special breakfast of hot chocolate and pan de dolce (sweet bread). Place some flowers (roses are traditional, but any flower is fine) before the family's statue of Mary.