Las Mañanitas is a traditional Mexican birthday song sung in Mexico and other Latin American countries at birthday parties, usually early in the morning to awaken the birthday person, also before eating cake, and especially as part of the custom of serenading women. In Mexico, Las Mañanitas is sung to men and women of all ages. In some countries, such as Colombia, the song is only sung to girls, especially on their 15th birthdays. Perhaps the most famous rendition of "Las Mañanitas" is that sung by Pedro Infante to "Chachita" in the movie Nosotros los pobres.
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Estas son las mañanitas que cantaba el rey David.
This is the morning song that King David used to sing.
Often if being sung instead of played from a recording, "mi bien" ("my dear") is replaced with the name of the person being celebrated, e.g. Despierta Jacob, despierta, mira que ya amaneció. Single syllable names are stretched through the two original notes, and longer or compound names are often elided to fit the music, such as Guadalupe or "José Alberto", which in Spanish would be sung "Josealberto", creating a diphthong in the second syllable.
The second line of the first stanza is sometimes sung "... a las muchachas bonitas se las cantamos aquí", or, in English, "... to the pretty girls we sing them here". In some regions is changed instead of hoy por ser día de tu Santo te las cantamos aqui.
Years ago, it was common to give a child the name of the patron saint that corresponded to the day the child was born. (see Calendar of saints) Thus, a child born on March 17th was named Patrick (Patricio for a boy or Patricia for a girl). Someone born on December 12th was often named Guadalupe. (See also name day), and someone born on December 25 was named Jesús. This is why there are so many Mexicans with this name, which is not common in the U.S.
Las Mañanitas are also an annual event held in Ponce, Puerto Rico, dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It consists of a pre-dawn festival parade, followed by a Catholic mass, the Ponce Marathon athletic competition, and a popular breakfast. The celebration was started in the 1960s by immigrant Mexican engineers. The early morning, pre-dawn celebration is attended by over 10,000 people, including mayors and other prominent figures. The city of Ponce offers a free breakfast to everyone present at the historic Ponce City Hall after the religious Mass concludes.
Every year, during the night between the 11th and 12th of December, mañanitas are sung to the honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Mexico's most famous and popular artist in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
- Las Mananitas for Guadalupe. John Rieping. The Madera Tribune. Madera, California. 6 September 2013 . Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- Vuelven a Ponce las Fiestas Patronales. Carmen Cila Rodríguez. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Miles le cantan las Mañanitas a la Virgen de Guadalupe en Ponce. Primera Hora. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- Vivo el fervor por la Guadalupana. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
- Laura Vázquez Blázquez, "Leyendas, historias, canciones e himnos populares." Culturas Populares. Revista electrónica vol. 1, pp. 1–25. (January–April 2006).
- Olga Martha Peña Doria, "La dramaturgia femenina y el corrido mexicano teatralizado." Sincronía, Fall 2002, p. 2.
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