Along with being one of the most holy days of the year in Mexico, Dec. 12 — Dia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, also is one of the most adorable.
Families across the country dress up their children as either indigenous pilgrims or Juan Diego, the Indian man who saw a vision of a dark-skinned Mary in what is now northern Mexico City. Little girls wear elaborate dresses and shawls, have their hair braided, and sometimes even wear make-up. Boys put on baggy hospital-scrub like shirts and pants, ponchos/sarapes, a scarf around their head or a straw hat, sandals and often a drawn-on mustache. Even the tiny babies are dressed up. It’s all you can do not to run off with these adorable children.
Last year we witnessed the adorable kids in Taxco, Mexico. This year in Oaxaca, which has its own church for Guadalupe. The large park in front of the church was taken over by a carnival. Immediately in front of the church were about 20 elaborate photo backdrops where kids could have their picture taken — much like posing with Santa. A photographer snaps your photo for about 30 pesos ($3).
And like the crying jags elicited by Santa, many little kids here too don’t know what to make of the experience: