I’ve Been Remiss….. or … Dia de los Muertos

I’ve been away waaaay too long. Not sure why. Maybe I just lost my creativity for awhile…or maybe I just got too busy enjoying my new life in Mexico to write about it. I’ve taken lots of pictures of different events.

So. I guess I’ll have to start blogging about some of them.

I’ll start with Mexico’s celebration of Day of the Dead on November 1 and 2: Better known to the locals as

Dia de los Muertos.

On these days they celebrate the memories of their past family and ancestors. Some actually believe that on this day some may decide to come back to visit. Many people go to the graves of their family member(s); take with them some of their favorite foods and beverages. We have a friend here, Francisco, who takes the afternoon off from working, goes to his father’s grave with some tequila, sits and talks to his father and “shares” the tequila with him.

Actually, American-style Halloween has taken a tiny foothold here for the children. Basically they go to the expat’s homes usually by invitation and trick or treat for candy. Now that Ajijic has a Walmart, there are costumes galore for them to choose from. We had some children come from the complex where we live, but we also had some come from a futbol team whose coaches live across from us. Mike was totally in the spirit of the evening by dressing for the occasion. When they’d come to the door he would jump out of the guest room window from behind the bushes and try to scare them … didn’t work.

November 1 is the day for honoring children who have passed away. Parents go to the cemetery and leave a trail of candies and the child’s favorite things from their grave back to the house. This way, if they should return on that night, they will be able to find their way home.

November 2 we went to Chapala to walk down Calle Cinco de Mayo which had the most elaborate shrines and activities for Dia de los Muertos. Many of these shrines honored families and others where in remembrance of celebrities and dignitaries from Chapala area or Mexico in general.

You’ll notice the picture of the shrine to Cantinflas….there is more information on him at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0134594/

Cantinflas - Mario Moreno Reyes

If you’re old enough you may remember seeing him in very old movies, most memorable to me is the original Around the World in 80 Days.

 All during this season you will see what are called Katrinas. These are sculpted skeletons, usually female, dressed up like real people. They come in all sizes…

teeny, like my little one for Boonie

and huge like the one in Chapala on the main crossroads into town,

and … ahem … living …

like this guy who talked, walked and generally scared the patootie out of some people. He was very interesting. I believe he was a living shrine to his grandfather.

And then we had the “walking dead”. All along Calle Cinco de Mayo  we met people dressed up as skeletons representing various specific people or even just groups of teenagers out enjoying the night.

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And then, of course, there’s the Girl and the Ghoul.

Hasta luego!

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