Actually, the Christmas season doesn't start here until December 16th (even though the retail stores start early).
On Wednesday we seen probably a thousand people trekking to the Basilica (the meca for worshipping Mary the Guadalupe) just in the short time we were traveling to the city. Many of them carrying heavy Mary statues or wearing coordinating Mary attire. They are on foot, bike, and truck.
They spruce up the boxes that Mary is kept in all around the neighborhoods. One of my neighbors worked day in and day out to get a Mary Box made. Last night, for about a few hours around midnight, there was huge parties around the boxes that Mary is in, in each neighborhood. Fireworks (so bad that my dog was shaking uncontrollably), loud music, chanting to Mary etc.
December 12th is the day that Mary apparently appeared to Juan Diego (again and left her image on his cloak). Interested... here is the story.
Anyways, millions of people head to the Basilica to honor Mary on this day. As we were driving on Wednesday it made me sad thinking about all these people putting in so much work to worship something that they shouldn't. I have always wanted to go to the Basilica on December 12th, just to experience what happens there for myself... that will have to wait for another year.
It breaks my heart to see so many people doing something to honor and worship something that they shouldn't be. It is a great reminder to believers why Mexico is still in great need of the Gospel. It is also a great reminder to missionaries why we are here.
I have posted about this date before... like here, for example and here!
And Rod wrote about it too.