19 dic. 2017

Guadalupe Reyes Marathon and other races for the end of the year

Guadalupe Reyes Marathon is a name given to the time period between December 12 and January 6 (or even till February 2). This is not a proper athletic race but a metaphoric race related with a period of religious and traditional celebrations and frenetic shopping.

Guadalupe Reyes Marathon begins on December 12 with the celebration of the Virgin Guadalupe apparition on 1531 in the Tepeyac Mountain with San Diego as a witness of the fact. There are many people in Mexico who believes in the miracles of the Virgin Guadalupe as the answers of their prayers. Year by year, there are millions of pilgrims visiting the Villa Church in Mexico City to thank the Virgin for the favors received along the year. December 12 begins with the traditional Mexican birthday song Las Mañanitas and this is the beginning of the Marathon as well.

The origin of the Guadalupe Reyes Marathon is unknown but began in the 1990’s. For more than 20 years, Mexicans are identified with idea of living a real marathon during Christmas season. On December 16 other parties known as the Posadas begin. These are celebrations related with the search for a place to receive the baby Jesus. The first one is on December 16 and the last one is on December 24. In a traditional Posada party, there is a musical pray to the Virgin followed by a song between the couple of Mary and Joseph and the future hosts for the family. Traditional food and beverages are served, among them the traditional Ponche that is a beverage made of fruits and a typical sugar knows as piloncillo. There is also other food as tamales and other traditional sweets are offered in little baskets. In the Posada, some Piñatas for the kids are broken and you can dance as well.

From December 12 to 24, Mexicans are also involved in shopping dynamics that includes the ingredients for making typical food and the gifts shopping. On December 24, most of the population celebrates Christmas and recently, also the arriving of Santa Claus for the kids. December 25 is a relaxing day where the last night food is served again with family and friends. Some families have the traditional Christmas dinner on the 25 instead of 24.

From December 26 to 29, there is a relaxing period but the last days of December, most people prepare the dinner for celebrating New Year. In most cases, this is not a familiar party anymore. The last days of the year are dedicated to the end of the year shopping and the search for toys for January 6.

December 31 is the celebration of New Year and January 1st is a day for resting. Many people return to their works since January 2. But January 5 is a stressing day for the parents who search toys for their kids. The children sleep early on January 5 waiting their presents brought for the Wise Men on January 6. These two days, people eat traditional bread named Rosca de Reyes thas has hidden little Jesus figures inside.

Guadalupe Reyes Marathon seems to end on January 6 although a little race starts at the beginning of February. The people who find a little Jesus figure inside the Rosca de Reyes must buy tamales and atole for celebrating the Candelary day on February 2. This day is the commemoration of the baby Jesus presentation in Jerusalem temple. In this day, women dress figures of Jesus and carry them to church to receive a blessing. After the mass, people join together to have a breakfast with tamales and atole. And now the Marathon real ending occurs. But from February 2 to May 10 there is also a period known as the Vale-Madres Marathon, from the Valentin day to the day of the Mothers and the activities and celebrations during these months.

Another metaphoric race is lived in the United Sates. This begins on the Black Friday just after the Thanksgiving Day at the end of November. This is a shopping race followed by the Cyber Monday and the many shopping during the Christmas season on December till Christmas day.

The world must be full of metaphoric races for the end of the year with or without a particular name. But beyond the frenetic shopping and party behavior there are also some real sporting races for the end of the yeas as the Saint Sylvester races. The most famous one is the International Saint Sylvester race in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which began on 1925 inspired in an antique race for New Year in Paris. The Saint Sylvester race in Sao Paulo begins on the last minutes of December 31 and ends with arrival of the runners on the first minutes of the New Year. There are also other countries with similar races and the participants not only have lived a frenetic period full of celebrations and shopping as the rest of the people, but also has the initiative of celebrate the end of the year in a very original way.

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