WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — December 12 is a historic date in Latino and Catholic communities. Hundreds of people in Luzerne County celebrated Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Monday night’s celebration kicked off with a festive procession through Downtown Wilkes-Barre and ended at St. Nicholas Church with a special mass led by the Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton.

A procession led by dance and song.

It’s a tradition for hundreds of people from our region, including Noemi Galeno, who looks forward to taking part in the festivities every year.

“We just come out and celebrate because this is how we were raised like, since I was little I’ve been doing this and I’ve never missed a day,” said Galeno.

The date is not only special for Galeno but to the entire Latino community, as they believe the virgin mary appeared in Mexico City in 1531 and is now known among Catholics as Our Lady of Guadalupe.

“It’s pretty cold outside, but you never feel the cold because you’re around people that have the same passion for her as I do,” said Galeno.

The procession ended with an evening mass as Bishop Joseph Bambera lead the service at St. Nicholas Church in Wilkes-Barre.

“The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is such an important part of the tradition and the culture and the religion of the people of Mexico and for so many of our Latino communities,” said Bambera.

This mass shows just how much the celebration grows over time.

“For me, it really is a sign of where the Church is today, and how we move into the future. This is the third Guadalupe mass I’ve been celebrating over the past week and it’s just a real treasure and a blessing for all of us. It’s really a gift to this community,” said Bambera.

Many tell Eyewitness News this celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe goes beyond the Latino community and shows how the Virgin Mary was present around the world.