Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is celebrated in Guatemala, Mexico and most of Latin America on November 1st. It is a holiday and focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, wreaths, flowers and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. The Day of the Dead is a time of celebration, where partying is common and families gather around the grave site to socialize and dine. Families go to cemeteries to be with the souls of the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so that the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them. Celebrations can take a humorous tone, as celebrants remember funny events and anecdotes about the departed.
On Sunday, Oct. 31st, we wondered around the square and happened to come upon these designs made up by different school and church groups to resemble a carpet. It is actually saw dust that is spray painted into the patterns desired. Once everyone got to admire their creations, a procession followed which went right over their wonderful work. The procession was led by different church groups and many of the ladies were in traditional dress.
|Carpet of saw dust|
|Rich in color|
|Everyone busy decorating|