On December 12th Mexican Catholics in the Coachella Valley honor Our Lady of Guadalupe by traveling 32 miles across the valley.
At Dawn, around 6 a.m. the pilgrimage starts in Palm Springs at Our Lady of Solitude Church. The hours-long journey ends after dusk in Coachella at Our Lady of Solitude Church.
The faithful usually take two breaks between each destination, one in Cathedral City and the other in Palm Desert.
Cathedral City officials warn motorists of traffic delays and partial closures as the procession passes through the city.
“The East Palm Canyon at Hwy 111 thoroughfare in Cathedral City will be closed intermittently this morning,” said Ryan Hunt Communications & Events Manager for Cathedral City.
For the safety of the devotees and the drivers in the area, local law enforcement officers will be assisting with traffic along the route.
The annual pilgrimage marks the day the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego, a young Mexican peasant, in 1531.
In Mexico, this is a national holiday and Catholics from all over make their way to the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, located in Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo, in northern Mexico City.