- Title: Mariachis mark the Feast of Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians
- Date: 22nd November 2016
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MARIACHI, LINDA VARGAS, SAYING: "The Virgin of Saint Cecilia is part of the Catholic religion. It's a virgin from this religion, so there is a mass to give thanks every year in Garibaldi square."
- Embargoed: 7th December 2016 23:56
- Keywords: mariachis Mexico Saint Cecilia Basilica de Guadalupe
- Location: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- City: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Living/Lifestyle,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA00259J25OJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Filling the streets of Mexico City, mariachis marked their national day on Tuesday (November 22) with a festival of music and serenades dedicated to the patron saint, Cecilia.
Clad in their traditional garb of cropped jackets and wide sombreros, the mariachi musicians banded together to march in procession to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Outfitted in traditional cropped jackets and wide sombreros, the group included guitarists and violinists.
But before heading to the Basilica, the mariachis made a stop at Mexico's famed Garibaldi square which has been the hub for this traditional music in the Mexican capital.
"The Virgin of Saint Cecilia is part of the Catholic religion. It's a virgin from this religion, so there is a mass to give thanks every year in Garibaldi square," said mariachi member, Linda Vargas.
For years, Mexico City's mariachis have gathered on November 22 to honour Saint Cecilia. In the Catholic tradition, Cecilia was an early Roman martyr who is often represented in art by a harp.
Mariachi member Valeria del Rio told Reuters the event is a time to honour the saint and come together to help their fellow musicians.
"Sometimes we don't have a lot of work. Sometimes we get more recognition in other countries, but we are bringing our talents together, our strengths, so as to consolidate more work for all of us," she added.
After Garibaldi, the mariachis then make their way to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a site of importance for Catholics where the Virgin reportedly appeared to a local peasant.
Mariachis originated in the 19th century in the western state of Jalisco where they performed at festivals and weddings. Their instruments include guitars, violins and harps but many modern day mariachi groups have eliminated the harp in favour of the trumpet.
The name "mariachi" came from French soldiers who arrived in Mexico in the 1800s and called the musicians "marriage," the French word for wedding.
Today mariachis don't only perform at nuptials, but at any occasion that's worth celebrating.
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