December is a wonderful time to visit Casa de Tortugas in Chacala. The whale watching season has begun and lasts through March. You will also have an opportunity to experience the ways Chacalans celebrate Christmas. The locals in Chacala are very friendly and welcoming. Visitors are encouraged to join in!
December 12th is the Virgin of Guadalupe Day. The Virgin of Guadalupe is Mexico’s most popular religious and cultural image. In celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the people of Chacala gather at the church. They then spend the entire evening walking and visiting altars all around town while singing and carrying flowers and candles all along the way. Many from other towns walk to the church in nearby Las Varas. It is interesting to see all of the beautifully decorated altars throughout Chacala and Las Varas.
Las Posadas starts on December 16th and lasts for nine days until the 24th. Posada is Spanish for “inn”. The nine-day period represents the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy carrying Jesus. Each of the nine nights, the villagers of Chacala walk and sing from their homes to the church then visit different families throughout the evening. The children wear costumes and each family that is visited offers a piñata or something for the children to eat.
On December 24th, Chacala throws a big fiesta for everybody and the children are presented with gifts. Be sure to join in on the dance at la plaza on the night of December 31st! Of course, there will be hugs all around once the clock strikes midnight!
The folks in Chacala love to celebrate!