This colonial city is located in a strategic area, at only 2 hours from Mérida it offers a unique combination of architecture, gastronomy, and popular festivities. Join us on this journey.

One of the colonial cities in Yucatán that is well-known for its architecture, gastronomy (such as the delicious “Lomitos,” pork with tomato sauce) and memorable traditions, is Valladolid.

Any time of the year is ideal for walking around its downtown, strolling its streets and roads. Take the time to get to know its buildings and mansions that today host hotels and restaurants, you will be enchanted.

But a very special way to experience this lovely city is to go at the end of January and the beginning of February, and participate in the activities that are organized in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria on February 2nd, and visit the Expo Feria 2019.

The religious festivities honor the popular beliefs of Valladolid that speak of many humble people who experienced apparitions of the Virgin; collective miracles such as ending a smallpox epidemic that devastated the population; and other personal health petitions.

It’s also said that the Virgin survived fires and the prohibition of religious cults, showing her power to perform miracles and maintain the faith of the people of Valladolid. To show their appreciation of her, the townspeople built her a church in the Candelaria “barrio,” one of the most beautiful neighborhoods of the city. It has become the main host of religious celebrations. From generation to generation, the tradition of celebrating the Virgin of Candelaria in Valladolid has been maintained.

During the last week of January and for more than 17 days, “novenas” (prayers that take place over nine days), masses, rosaries, walks, and pilgrimages are organized, as well as the traditional “Mañanitas” (birthday song) is sung to the Virgin on the night of February 1st. The “gremios” (guild processions) go to the church almost every day in order to do an offering and to thank the city Patron Saint.

As it is a custom in Yucatán and all of México, the religious parties go hand in hand with folk activities. So, during the almost two weeks of the Virgin festivities, the Expo Feria Valladolid takes place at the “lienzo charro Los Gavilanes.” You will be able to see handicrafts, exhibitions, musical presentations, and many more activities. It is one of the most important fairs in the state, after Xmatkuil and Tizimín. The entrance fee is from $5 pesos to $10 pesos, and you can enjoy lots of fun, music, and food for the whole family. The fair will be held from January 25 to February 10.

With information from Expo Feria Valladolid and the Tourism Office of Valladolid.

By Violeta H. Cantarell

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