Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit - Bucerías (place of the divers) is hosting patron saint festivities to honor Our Lady of Peace from January 16-24. This is one of the most deeply rooted annual traditions of this coastal village in the Riviera Nayarit, maintaining the enthusiasm of participants thanks to its rich religious, social, commercial and touristic value.
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. Every morning at 6 am the traditional Mañanitas are sung, and local organization lead religious processions, which include colorful parade floats honoring the Virgin, to the church, where masses are held.
There is also nightly entertainment, vibrant fireworks displays and a wide variety of sports, artistic and cultural events. Noteworthy is "The Bull," a young man wearing a wooden rack that resembles a bull's head full of rockets, who runs through the crowd shooting off the fireworks in all directions.
For the past 56 years, one of the top attractions of the festival has been the Maritime Pilgrimage of the Peace Torch, which is escorted by colorfully decorated boats on the morning of January 24th. Fishermen from all over the southern coast of Nayarit leave from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and sail across Banderas Bay in a formation in the shape of a cross.
When they arrive in Bucerías there will be a mass offered at the Our Lady of Peace parish, where the fishermen will come together to pray for a good year of fishing, tourism, health, and prosperity for the area's families.
The festival culminates that evening with the lighting of the Castillo (Castle) - a three story tower filled with fireworks, making this an event not to be missed.
The Our Lady of Peace Patron Saint Festival unites not only the people of Bucerías, but also the nearby towns and even resident Canadians, as well as the domestic and US community.
The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau extends an open invitation to all the citizens of Bahía de Banderas as well as the nearby municipalities to participate in this traditional patron saint feast, which year after year captures the attention of locals and foreigners. It's a tradition that's turned into a tourism attraction.
"The religious festivities are a great way to boost tourism to the destination's coastal villages," said Marc Murphy, Managing Director of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), and Director of the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association (AHMBB).
Bucerías is located between Nuevo Vallarta and Punta Mita. It has 8 kilometers of beach - the longest in Bahía de Banderas. Its shallow waters and calm waves make it the ideal place for kitesurfing and swimming, and its beaches are perfect for walking or jogging.
Source: Riviera Nayarit CVB