Thursday, November 4, 2010

Days of the Dead

Greetings from Etzatlan, where I'm spending a few days in the big city-- or at least the larger town.

Only about 7 weeks remain until my return home. My lab work is going well, and will probably be finished a couple weeks before my scheduled return home. It has turned out to be a very productive trip.

This week was one of the Mexican holidays that people always ask me about-- Day of the Dead. Day of the Dead isn't really just one day. It spans a couple of days at the beginning of November. The focus is on remembering friends and family members who have died. People build altars and put food, drinks, and other things on them for the dead people they want to honor. Some people believe that the souls of the dead come and consume the spiritual essence of the offerings. They also go to the cemeteries to fix up and decorate the graves. Gifts of flowers, alcohol (for the adults), toys (for the kids), and similar things are often left at the graves. In some towns, people even stay overnight in the cemetery and/or have a picnic at the grave.

I didn't really get out to see the Day of the Dead activities this year, so this week I'm sharing a couple of photos from the last time I was hear for the holiday. One photo is of some of the goodies that are available for sale for Day of the Dead. Included are some miniature altars (the little things with green cloth) with miniature offerings, candy skulls, and candy coffins. The other photo was taken at the cemetery in Teuchitlan when the graves were decorated and the families were arriving for the evening. It was really interesting to be in the cemetery when it was so beautifully decorated and when there were hundreds of people in it.

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