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Nine Day Festival Honors Bucerķas' Patron Saint

January 17, 2015

In honor of the patron saint of fishermen, Our Lady of Peace, dozens of fishermen will take part in the traditional marine pilgrimage with the Peace Torch; festivities include cultural, artistic and sports activities.

Bucerķas, Nayarit, Mexico - The best traditions strengthen the culture of their people. The Bucerķas Patron Saint Festival is a shining example, maintaining the enthusiasm of the participants thanks to its rich religious, social, commercial and touristic value.

Every year in January, the little town of Bucerķas, Nayarit, hosts a festival celebrating Our Lady of Peace (La Virgen de la Paz,) who is the patron of the local Catholic church. The fiesta lasts for nine days, during which the streets fill up with vendors of everything under the sun as well as scores of carnival rides.

The festivities began on January 16th and continue through the 24th, the Day of Our Lady of Peace, mother and protector of fishermen, with the marine pilgrimage of the Peace Torch, when fishermen sail from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle to Bucerķas and then go by land to take their offering to the Virgin at the Church of Our Lady of Peace to plead for a prosperous year.

The origins of the image of The Lady of the Peace go as far as the VII century, and are connected to Saint Ildephonse (606-667), an archbishop of Toledo, Spain, noted as a writer and musician and also for his devotion to Virgin Mary.

The tradition tells that during a night of December a miracle occurred when the Saint entered the Cathedral of Toledo, as he found it lit by a great shining, the Virgin was sitting on the archbishop chair, an act that was interpreted as Her approval of the Saint's teachings, as a present the Virgin gave him a cloak.

Saint Ildephonse died on January 23rd, and the next day, January 24th, was dedicated to remember the miracle. During the later years and centuries, a number of art works were painted about the subject, some examples are the master works of El Greco, Rubens, Velazquez, and Zurbaran, and some other great Spanish painters.

Different sports, artistic and cultural activities take place during the festival. Besides the carnival which takes place at the plaza, there are daily processions of various local organizations and nightly entertainment. The festival culminates in the evening with the lighting of the Castillo (Castle) - a three story tower filled with fireworks.

The commercial sector always sees a spike in sales during these days thanks to the many tourists and other inhabitants of the region that arrive in Bucerķas from the approximately 20 surrounding communities. As usual, the local gastronomy is well represented, as it is a distinguishing feature of the Riviera Nayarit.

Fittingly, a fine variety of the beautifully made Nayarit arts and crafts are also on display, accompanied by the local artisans themselves, making this an event not to be missed.

Source: Riviera Nayarit CVB