Wearing an emblem of the Virgin Mary on the front of their elaborate costumes and a guardian angel on the back, young dancers kick, march, stomp and swing their arms along with the beat of a tip-tapping drum.
"Each step is like praying the rosary," said Manuel Sanchez, leader of a 40-person group of matachines, or devotional dancers, from St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Aldine.
Their dancing is a centuries-old tradition among Mexican-Americans to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose Dec. 12 feast day celebrations fall in the midst of the Advent season, when Catholics are preparing to celebrate Christ's divine birth.
...The matachines wear signature-style, giant headpieces and traditional, Aztec-style dress, and they entertain thousands of Houstonians each year with their synchronized moves and almost hypnotic rhythm, but the real purpose of the dancing is spiritual. The matachines are faithful Catholics first and dancers second.
What a colorful celebration...read more here