Friday, October 3, 2008

Festivals in Mexico - Day of the Dead

Mexico is beginning to prepare for Day of the Dead, a festival in which ancestors and relatives are honoured with a series of traditions and rituals. One such tradition is to carry out an all night vigil on the night of November 1st in the cemeteries. It is believed that the spirits of the dead return and consume the spirit of the food and drink taken to the graveside. Families then share and eat the actual food, which is always the loved one's favourite, as a way of feeling close to those departed. The ritual is a celebration involving the whole extended family and children are not excluded. Sometimes mariachi bands will come and play as well. The graves are elaborately decorated during the day with marigolds, incense, candles, and sand paintings. These two images show the cemetery on the island of Janitzio by day, and the cemetery at Tzintzuntzan by night, both near the town of Patzcuaro in the State of Michoacan. It is a festival absolutely unique to Mexico, and more images will be posted on my return from Patzcuaro this November.


Wendy said...

Hi Catherine,
really looking forward to this trip!

Catherine said...

Just a taster of the good things to come!!