Monday, November 1, 2010

Día de los Muertos …

Daryll writes:

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
I wandered through the cemetery this morning and by 9:30am, things were already busy and were expected to get crazy later in the afternoon.  There were vendors everywhere; selling flowers to clothes, to toys and the staple tacos.  At times, I was shoulder to shoulder as I plodded along through the narrow alley of an entrance into the cemetery.  Once past the vendors and inside the grounds, it eased up as people dispersed to the different grave sites.  Families were washing and cleaning out their family grave sites and placing fresh flowers around the grave.  Some went to the extent of hiring bands to play for the dead; whilst others brought little stools, the family dog and relaxed on their day off.

Fiesta time

Everyone busy decorating

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  1. Hi there Ashendra! Interesting write up on the celebration - but amazing how different to the way we observe our prayer to the departed here in SA. Loved the togetherness of everyone. The carpet of saw dust is so pretty - must be more beautiful in reality. Ride safe. Luv Sonitha

  2. Wow, it all just looks so cool and the people you are meeting are great! I now have to secretly buy a BMW R1200 Adenture and just tell Jill we are leaving in a week to meet up with you guys! ride safe.. Greg Porter

  3. Hey Guys! Love the new icon on the map. Looks really cool!


  4. Sonitha, you are right. Culturally very different. It's more a celebration of the person's life than morning their death.

  5. Greg, Hope you looking for that 2nd job so that you can fund this insane habbit of purchasing new motorcycles and planning trips all over the world.

  6. Thanks Joey, thought I would mix things up a bit. Even though there may not be a new post, always check the map as I try and update it as often as we have internet.