Honoring the Virgin of Mercy at Mercado de la Merced

One day a year, the vendors at Mexico City’s Mercado de la Merced throw a crazy, wild party to honor the Virgin of Mercy, known in Spanish as the Virgen de la Merced.

Her saint’s day is Sept. 24. On that day and a few days after, the vendors host musical groups inside the market and mount large, gorgeous altars dripping with flowers. The day also coincides with the market’s anniversary, the 55th this year.

I was lucky enough to visit the market with a group of photographers, part of an expedition organized by Luisa Cortés, a neighborhood resident. Cortés said the vendors save money throughout the year to pay for the altars and live music, which can cost as much as $300,00 pesos (roughly $30,000 USD) per aisle inside the market.

The altars lent an eerie beauty to what’s usually one of the most chaotic places in the city. Mostly the vibe was festive and fun. Vendors dished out enchiladas de mole and carnitas, and bands played ballads, cumbia, rancheras.

It was a spectacular day to be there. If you’re in the city on the same day next year, I highly recommend going.

Some photos of the day:

Racheras and squash!

A prayer to the Virgen de la Merced, asking for her to bless the market

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Enjoyed this post? Share it!
4 Responses to “Honoring the Virgin of Mercy at Mercado de la Merced”
  1. Ekua

    Thanks for sharing this! I visited this market last summer and loved it, so I can imagine how much more fantastic it would be to visit during a celebration.

    • Lesley

      Yes, it was fabulous. Highly, highly recommend going someday, especially if you have a context of what the market is usually like. Hope you’re well!

  2. heidi leon

    Beautiful photos Lesley. Me encanta ver tu perspectiva tan diferente de la mía. Mil gracias por invitarme a descubrir la Merced contigo.

  3. Sarah Wu

    Such beautiful photos! Fun event too but 30,000 is a lot to save up for them. :)

Leave a Reply