The city of Caacupé, located 54 km from Asunción, is considered the spiritual capital of Paraguay. The town gets its name from the virgin’s command “kaaguy kupepe”, which became Caacupé. On December the 8th, which is the date of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Caacupé receives thousands of tourists on a pilgrimage to make vows and honour the Virgin for her miracles.
Several days before, over one million Paraguayans from all corners of the country begin their pilgrimage for their religious beliefs. This spiritual tradition is ascribed to the legend of a local Paraguayan, called José, who made the pilgrimage to thank the Virgin for a miracle. Paraguayans walk to thank the Virgin for the good things they received in the year or to make vows in exchange for better things next year.
Market vendors take to the streets and sell food, drinks, Caacupé t-shirts, and other memorabilia. The harp has been played since the epoch of the Jesuits and groups of harpists play in the Cathedral Basilica during mass.
The Caacupé pilgrimage is considered a national holiday, full of cultural identity and tradition.
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