In normal times, life on Monday, October 12, in Guadalajara would come to a halt as thousands of faithful line the streets to witness one of the most remarkable and colorful religious processions in the world.
Given the current circumstances, this year’s Virgin of Zapopan parade (the Romeria) has inevitably been revamped, and the revered corn-husk statue will not be accompanied back from the Guadalajara Cathedral to her ancestral home in the Zapopan Basilica by thousands of musicians, religious marchers, danzantes and charros. Neither will she ride in a glorious chariot pulled by two dozen smartly dressed helpers. Instead, she will be driven home, unceremoniously, inside a car, albeit along the same, traditional route as always – up the two major avenues of Alcalde and Avila Camacho.
Spectators are discouraged, and Guadalajara and Zapopan authorities will erect barriers on surrounding streets to prevent people from getting near the Virgin’s passing. Food and trinket vendors will not be permitted to set up, while all the stations along the Tren Ligero line three will be closed. There will also be constant surveillance by police to ensure that those who do manage to avoid the security maintain social distancing.