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Viernes de Dolores



En varias localidades del estado de Guanajuato, principalmente en Dolores Hidalgo y Guanajuato, se lleva a cabo cada año la celebración del Viernes de Dolores, que es una de las más importantes. Se cuenta que la tradición de celebrar el Viernes de Dolores data aproximadamente de 1413, fecha en que se decide consagrar en la ciudad de Colonia, Alemania, el IV Viernes de la Cuaresma a los dolores de la Virgen. Luego, ésta se adapta a México y se le da un toque diferente que se muestra en el altar que pone a la Virgen de Dolores.

El altar lleva velas, flores y papel de colores y se le ponen también algunos elementos que le dan su esencia única muy a la mexicana. Pero por supuesto que cada elemento tiene su significado.

El montaje del altar se alista la víspera y deberá simular el calvario y se coloca cortinas de tela morado y blanco, que simbolizan la pureza y el dolor de la Virgen María. Papel corrugado pintado de color ocre simula el monte y en la parte central se pone un crucifijo y al pie del mismo, la imagen de la Virgen María, para recordar la pasión de Cristo.

En las mesas del altar ponen veladoras y cirios pascuales bendecidos en la Misa de Gloria, que simbolizan el camino de la verdad y la vida; también se pone manzanilla, el verde de esta planta es por la humildad que la Virgen vivió, mientras que el amarillo de las flores recuerda la belleza del alma y cuerpo.

También lleva naranjas agrias pintadas o forradas de color dorado con banderitas de colores clavadas, esto significa la amargura que sintió la Santísima Virgen al ver clavado a su hijo en la cruz. En el piso se riega hinojo y mastranto que recuerda que Jesús fue abandonado por aquellos que le juraron fidelidad.

Algunas ponen manteles blancos bordados con dos pescados y un cestito con cinco panes en color oro y plateado, que representan el milagro que hiciera Jesucristo al dar de comer a más de 5 mil personas.

Algo muy atractivo son lo botecitos que se ponen con trigos sembrados 15 días antes y que al conservarlos en un lugar oculto de la luz, da como resultado plantas amarillas que se ponen verdes ya puestas en el altar. Los trigos representan a Jesús y María que no quieren que padezcamos hambre.

Hay quienes ponen también esferas gigantes de vidrio, flores alhelíes moradas y blancas, comales de barro sembrados de chía y un tapete con figuras creado con salvado, café molido, granos y semilla de todo tipo y pétalos de flores.

Por lo general el altar se coloca en la entrada principal de las casas para que la gente pase a visitarlo y se suelen poner también vitroleros (garrafones grandes) con agua de chia que simbolizan las lágrimas de la virgen y esta se reparte entre la gente que visita el altar. También es costumbre regalar nieve de sabores.

Así pues, este Viernes de Dolores visita los altares que por tradición se ponen en esta región del país en casas y minas y llega preguntando “¿Aquí lloró la Virgen?”, para que te den un vaso de agua o nieve.



The liturgical tradition of celebrating Viernes de Dolores, the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, dates back to around 1413, year in which, in Cologne, Germany, the fourth Friday of Lent was consecrated to the remembrance of the sorrows of the Virgin Mary.

The spirit and solemnity of this date has undergone changes over the course of its history in Mexico, and this can be seen in the altars offered to the Virgin of Sorrows.

The altars replete with candles, flowers and colorful tissue paper seem more a show of joy than of sorrow. And integration of some clearly pre-Hispanic elements make these altars unique in their Mexican baroque artistry.

The altars are set up the night before, representing the Calvary. The arrangement consists of a background which generally consists of purple and white cloths, to thus remember at once the purity of the Virgin Mary and the pain she endured seeing her Son nailed to the cross. To this effect there is also corrugated paper painted an earthy ocher to represent Mount Calvary. In the center there is a crucifix, at the foot of which is an image of the Virgin Mary in her sorrows, reminding us of this element of the Passion of Christ. On the tables where the altar is placed, white altar cloths are used, once again representing the purity of the Virgin Mary. There are candles, among them Paschal candles blessed in the Easter vigil mass, which help us remember, in the liturgy of Jesus, the way of truth and life.

The table is completely covered in chamomile. The colors of the chamomile flowers are symbolic: green represents the humility with which the Virgin Mary lived her life, and yellow, the beauty of soul and body.

Bitter oranges are placed on the table and all around the altar. They are painted gold or covered with golden material and small colorful flags are placed in them. The oranges symbolize the bitterness the Blessed Virgin Mary felt seeing her Son on the Cross.

Fennel and apple mint are spread on the floor, reminding us how Jesus was abandoned by those that swore loyalty to Him and who had promised they would never abandon Him.

The color gold represents the joy that filled the Virgin Mary upon knowing that Jesus would be resurrected on the third day after His death, and the small colorful flags represent the peace and good nature that should exist in all countries on Earth.

Well-off families embroider two fish and a basket with five bread loaves in the white altar cloths in gold and silver thread. This is in representation of the Miracle of the Loaves, where Jesus Christ provided food for over 5,000 people.

There are also those who represent Jesus in the three Persons of the Trinity: as God, King and Man. They burn incense and embroider altar cloths with golden thread.

Light, which always accompanies the Virgin Mary, is represented by candles augmented by the reflections off glass spheres and the waving gold of the miniature flags.

Colored drinks are poured in glass pitchers, representing the tears of the Virgin Mary.

To these elements of the altar, we add the wheat sown two weeks before and since kept in dark and sprinkled with warm water to produce tiny yellow sprouts, which contrast with the other colors of the altar.

The wheat represents Jesus and Mary, who do not want that we suffer famines like that told of in Scriptures, when Moses saw manna rain from the heavens, to feed the group of people who followed him.

The wheat sprouts, then, represent the bread we receive daily in a pact with Jesus, who will never leave us.

Popular tradition has made the altars what they are today. There are the giant silvered glass spheres reflecting the light, violet and white wallflowers; earthenware vessels sprouting chia, drawing the symbol of the Passion of Christ; and a "carpet", a direct carryover from pre-Hispanic tradition, generally made of bran, ground coffee, all kinds of grains and seeds, flower petals, and more.

Usually altars are set up at the main entrance of houses, so that people can see their attractive arrangements, and smell the delicate aroma of their herbs and flowers.

Tradition dictates that in each house with an altar, when the question is posed: "The Virgin Mary cried here?" a glass of lemonade adorned with chia is served, representing the tears the Virgin Mary cried.

In some others, lemon sherbert is traditionally given to soften the afternoon heat. Also traditionally given, if the family can afford even more generosity, is the candy called " dulce de chilacoyote ," made from raw sugar and cinnamon.

There are also those that, around their altars, sing and play religious music related to the time of Lent.