Pilgrims from Puebla at the Basilica
Last Sunday, 22nd February, the Basilica de Guadalupe was full of pilgrims from Puebla on their annual pilgrimage. The most eye-catching group were the Quetzal dancers with their spectacular circular headdresses, representing the extravagant colors of the Quetzal bird, the sacred bird of the Mayas. Pre-Hispanic in origin, the Danza de Quetzales is one of the most colorful of all Mexico’s folklore dances.
The headdress has colored paper or silk ribbons interlaced through a network of reeds and has a border of feathers. On the back of their capes, this group had sewn sequins in the design of the Mexican emblem of an eagle on a cactus with a snake in its mouth.
After performing their dance, the group entered the new Basilica under the gaze of the large crowd gathered there this Sunday, just one week after the Pope’s visit. It was a one-day pilgrimage for these dancers. After breakfast and a second performance, they were on their way back to Puebla again.
Also at the Basilica were mariachi bands and musicians from Puebla, offering their music to the Virgen de Guadalupe and thanking her for her favor for another year.
The pilgrims weren’t just from Puebla but had come from many different places in Mexico, as could be seen by their attire. This group came from further north in Mexico.
So, if you want to see people and traditions from all over Mexico, you need go no further than the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City. Most weeks there are pilgrims from different states, performing their local dances or just bringing their statues and pictures of the Virgen de Guadalupe for a blessing.