In Chiapas (or maybe all of Mexico) there is a cultural event held every December for the Virgin of Guadalupe. Groups of runners from all over Chiapas make a journey from one city to another, stopping at the churches dedicated to the Virgin. They carry torches and chant about the Virgin and Jesus. It is quite an event - and everyone goes to the church on December 11 & 12 to celebrate.
Of course, all the gringos were there too, so we knew we had to stop by.
Here is a group of runners on their last leg of the journey. A lot of them don't wear shoes, and there is always a car that follows them with it's alarm going off so as to warn everyone that the runners are coming. Have we ever mentioned how loud Mexican cultural events are? Firecrackers, loud music, car horns, etc. They are a culture that celebrates with noise. :)
We hiked all the way to the top of the church, weaving in and out of the crowds all along the way. There were food booths, games, rides, and thousands of people. I'm not very good with crowds, and generally at these things people just stand around, so we didn't last very long.
All along the street were banners and such too. Although I dislike the noise of the celebrations, Mexicans sure do a great job at decorating and making sure there is a large turnout. Every time we go to an event there are always a ton of people, food, and decorations. I love it, even though I can't stay long.
We are hoping that we can experience a few other fun Christmas events here in San Cristobal. I don't really know what they do all the rest of the time, but I'm sure it will be an adventure!