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Dec 11, 2005 08:28 PM

Dec 12th - Guadalupe Festival - SF, San Pablo, elsewhere

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This morning I woke up to what seemed like every neighbor dressed in traditional Mexican costumes, like those colorful dolls sold in Mexico (pic below). A parade down 23rd Street was about to start.

Went to the closest church for Mass, but the celebration at that churh is tommorrow at 6 pm where there will be people dressed in native costume, mariachis, another parade and ... here's the food part, a free food festival after Mass.

Also, like in Mexico City, in the Richmond area churches, after Spanish Mass vendors gather outside selling food. So tommorrow should be a big blowout. I've never checked out the food vendors since I don't go to the Spanish masses. Driving by it seems like the standard rolling cart stuff ... corn on the cob, paletas, cotton candy, some orange fried porky things.

Early ... early ... tommorrow, Mission Dolores may be having their celebration of Guadalupe with food after, so maybe check it out on the way to work. From a 2003 SF Chronicle article below, it says about the Mission Dolores celebration:

"Las MaƱanitas. 4:45 a.m., Dec. 12, Mission Dolores Basilica, 3321 16th St. (at Dolores); 239-9107. Free. After a very early but very popular bilingual mass honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe, complete with mariachi music and thousands of rose petals, this event ends with pork tamales, Mexican hot chocolate, pastries and hot toddies."

If you drop by for the food and not the maass, figure about an hour after the scheduled Mass for the food to be served.

Other churches may have something similar, but those are the only two I know about.

One year I went to this celebration at the actual Cathedral of Guadalupe. It has little to do with the Catholic religion. The Mexican Indians fill the huge plaza dancing to ancient dances and playing ancient songs. Very weird being in the packed Mass and hear the drums beating outside the church.

That same site had a similar Aztec story that dates back to the time of the pyramids that a mysterious lady appeared on the same hill.

The streets are literally covered with miles of tents selling all sorts of items and all sorts of food.

While the local festivals won't be as large, they will probably have some authentic food and be colorful.



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  1. Uh, forgot the details of when the food is being served in San Pablo and the address

    St. Paul Church
    1845 Church Lane (off of 23rd, a few blocks from where 23 runs into San Pablo Road)
    San Pablo, Ca

    Food will be served an hour after Mass ... Mass at 7:30 pm ... food about 8:30 pm.

    If you are interested in the whole shebang, it starts at 6 pm ... but that is a loooong 2 1/2 hours for a free tamale and hot chocolate ... and it's all in Spanish.

    Link below is to the Guadalupe Story. The picture below is of the Indian dancers in front of the old basicala in Mexico. There are hundreds of these dancers filling the square. Didn't see anyone dressed this way in San Pablo (goose bumps?). Only the cute Mexican girls with their hair in ribbons.

    This is one of the funniest versions of the story I've read. I don't know who Big Mama is or what her site is about, but cool write up. It also references the Aztec earth goddess Tonantzin, who pre-dated the Virgin.

    Big Mama's take ... scroll down to Happy Guad Day

    Should you go for the meal, at least it is info about what the festival celebrates. One of the guys I worked with in Mexico City was an indiginous Indian and danced in feathers during the festival. That ain't a picture of Faustino though.