Patron Saint Festivities in Maracaibo

Patron Saint Festivities in Maracaibo,

Despite the paradoxical centralization, Maracaibo is a place of strong people who maintain their cultural traditions and religious beliefs. Its people venerate traditions, so they maintain their autochthonous characteristics.

Patron Saint Festivities in Maracaibo — Descent of the Virgen of Chinita

The annual celebration of the International Fair of La Chinita ignites a social, spiritual, and human interest in unequaled transcendence.

Regarding this custom, I must tell you that the Zuliana Corporation for the Coronation of Our Lady of Chiquinquira was founded in 1921, and that year began the work of modifying the Basilica of Chiquinquira to give it its current shape and size.

November 18, 1942

Thanks to these qualities, on November 18, 1942, the Virgin Mary Rosary of Chiquinquirá “La Chinita” was crowned.

Monsignor Marcos Sergio Godoy presided over the ceremony, which was attended by notable Zulian personalities and institutions and, of course, the inhabitants of Maracaibo. Thus was born the Chinita Fair, a festival with religious roots. The idea of Dr. César Casas Rincón gave rise to the beginning of the Fair in 1966.

Its objectives were to establish a stable scenario for the production and diffusion of our cultural heritage, to value our roots, and to reestablish social, daily, spontaneous, and healthy interactions.

To help rebuild the social fabric as a cornerstone of any democracy and reaffirm the access of all citizens to culture. On this feast, we remember the Miracle of the Virgin.

Eleida Araujo

The story goes that an old woman named Eleida Araujo found a small board on the shore of the lake and took it home. A few days later, on November 18, 1709, the old woman heard knocks on the wall where she had hung the small board and paid no attention to them.

The Virgin of Chiquinquira had materialized on the surface of the tablet and dazzling light was emanating from it, so she decided to visit the place where the knocking was coming from.

In response to this phenomenon, the old woman ran out into the street and began to shout “MIRACLE!”.

Descent of the Virgin and the procession

  • The lighting of Christmas lights on Bella Vista Ave
  • La Limpia (Curva de Molina in the west of the city)
  • Election of the Queen of the Fair
  • Sunrise of the gaitero in front of the basilica.
  • Game of the Aguilas del Zulia…

As well as other religious, institutional, social and cultural events, which offer a magnificent spectacle to locals and strangers. The local population is inclined to the affirmation of the Christian faith, as well as the search for quality of life and leisure options.

Because of all this legacy, it is important, opportune, and necessary that the civil society of Maracaibo, in particular, concentrates on the encounter of integration, sincerity in relationships, and leaving aside any attitude that attempts against spiritual values.

As a native of Maracaibo, I urge the community to maintain our religious, spiritual, cultural, and educational traditions with greater public commitment, to promote the meaning of the gaita, and, above all, to seek the unification of the family.

With information from Joaquin Chaparro |

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