Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day of the Dead

Having been on Isla Mujeres a few times for Day of the Dead, I love the way Mexicans honor their loved ones who have passed on.  A friend recently posted this video on a Facebook page, so I thought I'd share it to give an example of a traditional Day of the Dead ceremony.  The video gives me goose bumps.

On message boards, visitors frequently ask what events take place on the island.  In my experience it varies from year to year.  In 2004, I viewed a procession down Hidalgo to the cemetery in the late afternoon, and a ceremony with children and adults in traditional dress in the zocalo that evening.  The photos below were taken in 2006.  In 2009, altars set up in the square were short-lived because they were demolished by rain and wind.  Halloween was almost a no show that year, with very few trick or treaters on Hidalgo and one lone Dracula riding his tricycle round and round the zocalo in the pouring rain.  Every year, families spend time with their loved ones at the cemetery decorating graves and lighting candles.

Locals setting up altars on the zocalo to honor family members.  Notice they include photos and favorite items and foods.

The cemetery's also a very busy place during this time.  During one of my visits in late October, vendors set up stands on the street outside selling flowers, candles, and even drinks.

 A candle left at a grave.

And then we have the Halloween holiday here at home.  People in this neighborhood go all out with the decorations.  I'll try to get some photos today while we're out walking or riding bikes.  Yesterday, Craig insisted on buying a huge bag of chocolate candy bars at Costco to hand out at the door tonight.  I usually buy candy I don't like so I won't be tempted to eat it, but he won the war.  So my goal is not to play the gorging game and eat one every time I hear the words -- TRICK OR TREAT!


Ann said...

We never get any trick or treaters--the town is so spread out & no kids in our neighborhood. The town had a party last Fri & the next town over had trunk or treat. Would love some year to be on Isla for the festivities

Life's a Beach! said...

Ann, some year in the near future, I'd like to go in October and stay for a couple of months. It's a great time of year for temps and cultural events (barring any late hurricanes).

Jane H. said...

Way out here on a dead end road, we have no trick or treats either. Most of the country kids go into town, where the school and library have organized fun for all. When we lived in the city, I enjoyed sitting out on our front steps, handing out candy to little ones, who had to be encouraged by mom or dad to approach me, dressed as a witch. Our neighborhood was a lot of fun. House across the street played scarey monster music. I enjoyed that too.

Life's a Beach! said...

Jane, we live in the burbs and the neighborhood is totally built out now, so I'm hoping we give out that entire bag of chocolate bars. I wrangle Saby while Craig answers the door.