The Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon Begins Now

Retablo Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en Iglesia San Francisco El Grande, Antigua Guatemala BY RUDY GIRON

Retablo of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe found inside Iglesia San Francisco El Grande, Antigua Guatemala.

Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon is a concept typical of Mexican [/Central American] culture. It began in the decade of the 1990s and informally refers to the vacational period from December 12 (Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe) to January 6 (Day of the Three Wise Men or “Tres Reyes Magos”). During this period there are several holidays which, linked together, create a “marathon” of festivities. During this period, the challenge is not only to attend the festivities but to at least drink any type of alcoholic beverage every day. This Marathon is not part of the Mexican Folklore; it is merely a pop-culture activity. (source: Wikipedia)

Well, in Guatemala school is actually out between mid-October through mid-January, so students are actually vacationing for much longer than the Guadalupe-Reyes period. 

Also, in Guatemala even though we also observe the Guadalupe-Reyes, our Christmas season actually begins on December 8th, with the celebrations of Virgen de La Concepción, right after the Quema del Diablo, Burning of the Devil, and continues until February 2nd, with the celebrations of the Virgen de La Candelaria, Groundhog Day in the U.S. 

So, in Guatemala the Guadalupe-Reyes marathon is more like a 21K race as the Concepción-Candelaria is the actual marathon. 

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