Millions Walk For Days To Celebrate The Feast Of Guadalupe

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Millions Walk For Days To Celebrate The Feast Of Guadalupe

Millions of pilgrims set out to walk (some for weeks) to celebrate the Feast of Guadalupe. The feast can also be called the Virgin Mary Festival, as it revolves around honoring the Virgin Mary. Mexico’s patron saint is Our Lady of Guadalupe, a form of the Virgin that is said to have appeared to an indigenous man in 1531 where Mexico City is now located. This story is told and celebrated as the Feast of Guadalupe across Mexico each year on December 12. Though people begin celebrating early on.

Many will walk weeks to make the pilgrimage to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Those who don’t participate or know of the festival have no idea the scale to which these people are devoted to the Virgin Mary. Mary is the most integral part of many Mexicans’ identity and culture, making this one of their biggest events of the year.

One pilgrim walked nearly two weeks holding a heavy sculpture of the Virgin Mary. He was setting out to deliver prayers that his ill infant would heal. There are many stories similar to this one that make the festival a symbol of hope, faith, and strength. People will come to fulfill a pledge or penance.

The Feast of Guadalupe is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world. It draws about six million people to the central basilica alone. People of all kinds, young and old, able-bodied and disabled, will travel far to reach the basilica. Some even travel many miles in wheelchairs or on their knees.

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Kate Wilke is the content manager at 301brands, and she's the editor of, and the lifestyle editor at When she's not paddle boarding or skiing, she's informing someone about global warming (or cats) over a local double IPA. Follow her on Instagram — @kateewilke

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