Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe

With gorgeous weather (80s in December? yes please) and no particular reason to hang around at home today, I decided to take the train downtown to the Renegade Craft Fair; just to enjoy the day and the presence of crafters, artists, and their wares.

The fair was near Chinatown, one stop from Olvera Street, birthplace of Los Angeles and the cultural center of the Mexican community here.

Baby boy headed to La Virgen de Guadalupe festivities at Olvera StThere were lots of Mexican families heading in the same direction, the little girls in national dress, and the baby boys wearing bandanas and drawn-on moustaches and beards. Today is the Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe, when the little boys are dressed as Juan Diego, an indigenous Mexican who reported a Marian apparition, Our Lady of Guadalupe, in 1531. I knew I'd have to check out the fun at Olvera St after attending the Fair.

Birdenvy @ Renegade Craft Fair
Ashkahn @ Renegade Craft Fair
Julianne Dodds @ Renegade Craft Fair
Michelle Caplan @ Renegade Craft Fair
Krank Press @ Renegade Craft Fair
1. Birdenvy 2. Ashkahn 3. Julianne Dodds 4. Michelle Caplan 5. Krank Press.

Over 150 Renegade vendors and plenty of customers occupied tents in the Los Angeles State Historic Park. If I'd found anyone selling a hat, I would have bought one (it was HOT!) but I kept my wallet safely in my handbag, despite being tempted several times (sorry, artists, but my Christmas shopping is DONE!)

After making the rounds, I walked back through Chinatown to Olvera Street, where there was quite a party happening!

Children dressed up for La Virgen de Guadalupe festivities at Olvera St
La Virgen de Guadalupe festivities at Olvera St
Toddler boy at La Virgen de Guadalupe festivities, Olvera St
Photo op, La Virgen de Guadalupe festivities at Olvera St
Holy water blessings, La Virgen de Guadalupe festivities at Olvera StThere was music, dancing, and long lines to be blessed by the priest, photographed on a burro, or admitted to a restaurant. While I don't generally care for crowds, I find it invigorating to be amongst people from another culture, having fun in ways that are not my own. It makes me feel alive and, perhaps counter-intuitively, connected. The fact that they are celebrating something foreign to me encourages me to open my heart and mind to them, and note our common humanity and joy.

It was, indeed, a lovely day. How was yours?


Penny said...

What fun, this happens in big communities like yours, our small town has its own festivities but nothing like this!

kt said...

this looked so cool i would have loved wandering around looking at all the artists booths. I love the photos of the little ones too so sweet.

Anonymous said...

oh, it makes me miss the fun LA melting pot even more!


Lola said...

You're so fabulous :)