I never quite understood the idea of the 12 days of Christmas until I came to Mexico this year. It seems that the biggest day of the whole Feliz Navidad (Happy Nativity, aka Christmas) season is December 12, when Mexican Catholics commemorate a feast day for Guadalupe (the Mexican virgin and mother of Jesus). They go on to celebrate the season day by day until its culmination on December 24.
Little did I know when I made my travel plans from Mexico City to Taxco that travel would be hampered by roads clogged with shrines on the back of pickup trucks followed by ardent believers called pilgrims on foot and bicycle slowly making their way to the main Cathedral of Guadalupe in downtown Mexico City, and in smaller numbers to other towns with churches dedicated to her, like Taxco. (Sorry I don’t have pictures.) So what are usually 4 lane highways clogged with traffic racing to and from town become one lane slowed to the pace of a burro (walker or bike rider) trying to get out of that lane and into the one next to it so they can race on by the “obstruction” only to get caught up in a similar situation a few miles further along. Not only are the roads clogged with the faithful but school is out for a month and everyone is trying to get “home for the holidays.”
The trip to Taxco which usually takes 2.5 hours, took over 3. But, I arrived safe and sound to Irma’s house where my room and a joyous reunion with her and her grandchildren and later on my English speaking friends commenced. Sleep was a bit disturbed due to the revelers, the bands, and the “airworks” (fireworks without the fire, only the boom) into the wee hours of the morning. I was so exhausted from traveling though that after midnight when most of the noise settled down, I slept soundly.