Nicaragua celebrated on Saturday the traditional popular religious festival "La Gritería" in honor of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, in some cases placing altars with replicas of the virgin accompanied by messages of protests against the Government of Daniel Ortega.
Catholic believers who oppose Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, adorned their altars with the blue and white colors of the Nicaraguan flag, which the opposition uses as one of the symbols of protests against the Government, Efe noted.
Opposition leader Yubrank Suazo placed three images of the Immaculate Conception adorned with blue and white colors on his altar, a national flag in an upside down position, a black tie and a message that says: "Mary Queen of Nicaragua, pray for political prisoners ".
"Today we are asking for your intercession (to the Virgin Mary) for this much-suffered people. It is a request from all the people for peace and freedom for Nicaragua. We are also asking for our brother political prisoners who are suffering these physical and psychological tortures." , explained Suazo, a political prisoner.
He said it was through the intercession of the virgin Mary that he could endure his suffering in prison and now be able to forgive his jailers.
On the other hand, the lawyer Yonarqui Martínez, defender of dozens of prisoners considered political, said that this year she arranged an altar to the Virgin to request the freedom of at least 168 "political prisoners and prisoners."
Since April 2018, Nicaragua has suffered a serious crisis that has left 328 dead, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), although some groups raise the number of fatalities to 651, while the Executive only recognizes 200 and denounces an attempted coup.
The religious festival was inaugurated by the Nicaraguan cardinal and archbishop of Managua, Leopoldo Brenes, in the Metropolitan Cathedral with the traditional shout of "Who causes such joy?", To which the parishioners replied: "The Conception of Mary."
"Gritería", a religious and folk festival celebrated in the 153 municipalities of Nicaragua and in places where the Nicaraguan colony is important, such as Costa Rica and the United States, was born on December 7, 1857, just after the National War , when the American filibusters were expelled.
That day, in front of the square of the San Felipe parish, in the municipality of León, 90 kilometers northwest of Managua, the priest Gordiano Carranza, accompanied by an image of the virgin Mary and before hundreds of Marian faithful, he shouted: "Who causes such joy?", To which he replied: "The Conception of Mary," according to historians.
After 162 years, the cry of the priest Carranza is chanted by thousands of Nicaraguans in an activity that is celebrated on the night of December 7 and consists of touring the streets and visiting altars in honor of the Virgin, with songs and prayers.
In exchange for praying and singing, parishioners receive sweets, fruits, pieces of sugarcane and in some cases small bags with rice, beans, sugar and other gifts in the midst of burning abundant gunpowder.
The demonstrations of faith to "La Conchita", as they call the Immaculate Conception of Mary, are celebrated with more intensity in León, 90 kilometers northwest of Managua, and in Granada, 45 kilometers southeast of this capital, the rival cities during the National War of 1856.
58% of the 6.4 million inhabitants of Nicaragua profess the Catholic faith, according to official data.
. (tagsToTranslate) Nicaragua (t) traditional (t) Crying (t) messages (t) Government