Sunday, November 16, 2014

Day of the Dead

Having just moved here and with plenty of stuff to do, we didn't feel like we had the time nor the state of mind to arrange a Day of the Dead Altar (altar de día de muertos).  But we did go our for a walk around town on Sunday November 2nd and saw a few altars and, more interestingly, this dance in commemoration of the Day of the Dead.  Though the Day of the Dead is a definitely mestizo tradition (that is, aboriginal and Spanish elements and beliefs mixed together), this dance you see below has a much, much bigger indigenous essence, and is not part of most Mexican's celebrations, except for these people from central Mexico who are reclaiming their connection to their indigenous past.

Given the sorry state of things, with mass graves being found all too frequently and countless forced disappearances which prompted people to graffiti walls with "In Mexico, every day is Day of the Dead", all these events took on a darker, grimmer tinge...

Hopefully next year will set up the altar at home, with the photos of those we loved that have left us, with their favourite food and drink so they can enjoy, with yellow flowers so they can find their way from their world to ours, bread with bits shaped like bones, and lots of stories to remember, to laugh, and to share.  And we'll also be able to say things are better, and that we're on the road to peace, and that the Day of the Dead takes place just once a year.  Hopefully.

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