She was upset that she had forgotten to bring her this year and said, "I wanted to place her on the altar so she could enjoy her party." Juan Gutierrez explains that the noise at the end of the celebration remains significant. And thus, the tradition of La Purisima began and spread across Nicaragua. This was their motivation for starting the La Purisima and La Griteria event at St. Jerome Catholic Church. His paintings all depict the church, and religious themes and festivals are common. You see in the faces the happiness from their memories." Both, Purísima and Gritería, are organized by hosts or home owners. Mission La Purísima Concepción, or La Purísima Mission (originally La Misión de la Purísima Concepción de la Santísima Virgen María, or The Mission of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary) is a Spanish mission in Lompoc, California.It was established on December 8, 1787 (the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, hence the mission's name) by the Franciscan order. El día 7 es la culminación, con “La Gritería”, la festividad más popular del año para la mayoría de los nicaragüenses, su inicio se da con el rezo de la tradicional novena en honor a la Inmaculada Concepción de María. It sounds wonderful. Before Hurricane Katrina, the metro area's population was estimated to be 1.2 million. It is safe to say that no one living in Southeast Louisiana emerged from the destruction and aftermath an unchanged person. Photo: Denese Neu. The songs and gifts continue for the next hour. Prior to La Purisima and La Griteria, a Spanish Mass incorporating Nicaraguan heritage is held. The altar is the focal point of the celebration. Unlike festivals where people are moving around and engaged in different activities, the celebrants all sit or stand facing the altar. El Enano is usually just a giant head worn by another individual who dances along with La Gigantona. Among the diverse and creolized population of Southeast Louisiana is a group of Nicaraguan immigrants. Nowadays, Catholic families all over Nicaragua from Managua to Masaya to Matagalpa take time to erect their own altars in their homes, adorned with blue-and-white backdrops to resemble the sky, and a statue of la Virgen herself, wearing a golden crown. It is a delicious cacao drink; a traditional gift of cold spiced chocolate milk. Many New Orleanians participate in this custom regardless of heritage. Candles and palm fronds might also be used in these altars. The hall is not large enough for the estimated 250 people who attend. When asked how she learned her culture, she stated through observation and her parents. Again, there are different versions of the beginnings. You might spend time reminiscing about the festivities of previous years or digging into your pillowcase to see all the goodies you collected along your block. In unison, they reached up to create the noise. Because the people cannot travel to a variety of altars as is tradition, one altar serves as the focal point. The organizers carefully select the gifts and stay as close to tradition as possible. Comparatively, this made the Nicaraguan population quite small and the compiled Latino population of the area was only around 6%. La fiesta de la Purísima Inmaculada Concepción de El Viejo, patrona de Nicaragua es celebrada con gran solemnidad iniciando un novenario el 28 de noviembre con novenas con derroche y alegría a las 6:00 p.m. y por las mañanas misas a las 6:00 a.m. y rezo del Santo Rosario. As more and more Latinos migrate to the area for rebuilding work, they will likely influence the area's culture as other groups have helped create a unique American city. It’s a little like Christmas, a little like the 4th of July, a little like Halloween, and 100% Nicaraguan pride. Celebration of La Purisima with altars to the Blessed Mother remains a vital and significant tradition in New Orleans' Nicaraguan community. Songs like, “Por Eso El Cristianismo” and “Escucha Oh Tierna Madre” are among the Nicaraguan folk songs dedicated to La Virgen, and are often heard at las Purisimas, sung mainly by the pious older women in attendance. The altar varies each year. The origin of these coinciding festivities is a bit muddled, and while many Nicaraguans celebrate the occasion, less actually know how it all began. Then a food that is as important to La Purisima as the songs is served. The culmination is on December 7th, with the Griteria (shouting). Elizabeth Gutierrez explained that each year they serve a different traditional Nicaraguan food but it is not necessarily traditional to La Purisima. Throughout the region, families found themselves scattered while neighborhood groups formed cohesive tribes for rebuilding. As explained by La Purisima organizers in Southeast Louisiana, these gifts have begun to include food staples, such as rice, beans, and oil, to help those who are impoverished. The organizers of La Purisma share that they believe the area is very accepting which made it easier for them to make it their home as well as stay connected to their roots but that they needed to be connected to the people from their country. Many Nicaraguan immigrants living in the area celebrate La Purisima and La Griteria - intertwined celebrations honoring the Blessed Mother Mary - each December. Is patient but excited to see what is next what is next different aspects of churches... 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