Saturday, November 16, 2013



It has been a fast four days, but enjoyable spending time with my daughter and her boyfriend. Since nine months living in Mexico, I could say that I have been more relaxed and enjoying the sites. So when my daughter came it was extra special to share the culture and the experiences that Dan and I have been enjoying while here.
We met them at Guadalajara airport and then we were off to visit the area. The first day we started in the town of Chapala. This day was the celebration of The Day of the Dead. This (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where the day is a bank holiday. The festival takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the Christian triduum of Hallowmas: All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the dead.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world: In Brazil Dia de Finados is a public holiday that Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in Asian and African cultures.

While strolling the streets there were decorative alters on the sidewalks. The Mexicans are very talented and displayed flowers showcasing the streets for their love ones. As we got closer to the boardwalk the scenic view was breath taking surrounded by mountains. My daughter fell in love with the area and really enjoyed the walk way which was lined with catrina‘s. "La Catrina has become the referential image of Death in Mexico, it is common to see her embodied as part of the celebrations of Day of the Dead throughout the country; she has become a motive for the creation of handcrafts made from clay or other materials, her representations may vary, as well as the hat.

After exploring the markets and the stores, we headed toward Ajijic. The first stop was to the cemetery. The celebration continued with music, food and flowers. I have never seen such love toward the dead then I did that day. They were honored with respect and through the beauty that surrounded the people I experienced this calmness and peace. I wanted to show my daughter the distance that Dan and I walk from the Tuesday organic market to the town of Ajijic. So we decided to walk from the cemetery to the town for more of the celebration. While we were walking it started to get dark so we headed to a restaurant for some traditional Mexican soup. While we were eating, there were people dressed up for Halloween that danced throughout the square.
Please enjoy the pictures that I took to show how the Mexicans celebrate the dead.

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