In the deeply devout town of Puebla, Mexico, residents hold their own parade for the Virgin Mary during the Feast of Guadalupe. Statues are carried to the church, blessed, and then exchanged among families.
Photos Reveal Mexico’s Colorful Virgin Mary Festival
Millions of pilgrims walk for days to celebrate the Feast of Guadalupe.
For two millennia, the Virgin Mary has been one of the world’s most venerated women. She is particularly revered in Mexico; the country's patron saint is Our Lady of Guadalupe, a form of the Virgin that is said to have appeared to an indigenous man in what is now Mexico City in 1531. That storied event is commemorated across the country every year on and around December 12, during the Feast of Guadalupe.
Millions of Catholics share their devotion to the Virgin on that day. Some of them walk for weeks to the central shrine at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. National Geographic photographer Diana Markosiandocumented this festival last year, as part of the magazine feature on