Basilica of Our Lady of Solitude (Soledad)

The Patroness of Oaxaca has very devout followers who celebrate with various formal organized events for a few days every year. The main day of the anniversary is the 18th of December.

As on most Christian Catholic anniversaries, the main day of celebrations isn't the anniversary date but rather the eve, meaning the night before. So, on the eve, there are dances in front of the main church entrance followed by the dancing "Toritos" which are bulls made from reeds and stuffed with fireworks that explode as kids fight to have the honor of carrying them and chasing people that are watching, cheering to the sound of a brass band. We have all carried them in our lifetime and have the scars to remind us. Afterwards, there will be a gigantic fireworks castle that will be lit for all to see and enjoy.

The following day the Virgin is serenaded by mariachis, brass bands, trios, single guitars and by many that from pure faith come to honor our "Madrecita", "Blessed Mother". Then the Virgin will be brought out to the courtyard and the faithful line up with statues, flowers, paintings and other objects to get a chance to walk by and touch the Virgin. The surrounding streets are festively covered with food stands, traditional fairground attractions, crafts and religious items that most buy to be blessed and take home.