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Gritería Chiquita at Leon | Aug 13, 2009

Róger Solórzano Canales

The city of Leon will celebrate tomorrow, August 14, its traditional "Gritería Chiquita", a massive religious event during which thousands of people walk around the streets of the city and sing in front of shrines of the Virgin Mary. The event will start at 6:00 pm.

After a solemn mass at the Cathedral of Leon and the official shout of the priest "Who causes so much joy?", the burning of fireworks starts throughout the city (and it is repeated at midnight). The citizens start walking all over town and stop every once in a while to sing in front of different shrines, situated inside the houses. Singers obtain gifts from the owners of the houses, such as traditional candies, drinks, handicrafts, toys, among others.

This celebration started on August 14, 1947, when people considered the mollification of the Cerro Negro volcano a miracle of the virgin Mary, which for various days kept the population in an alarm due to the upcoming eruption and the ashes of the volcano. The "Gritería Chiquita" is also celebrated in a smaller scale in other cities of the country, specially by families of Leon who have moved out of town and maintain the tradition.