Day of los Muertos


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The Day of the Dead on November 2nd is possibly one of the oldest and strongest traditions in Mexico. I believe (no evidence) that it comes from the Chinese Ghost month, when ghosts and spirits, long-gone ancestors come back from the netherworld. In the Chinese tradition, shrines are built, and offerings are made for the ghosts. If I am right, this would make it a 12,000 year old tradition. In both China and Mexico.


Shrines to the deceased are built everywhere.


Dance Death away?


“Your costume and make-up are fantastic! Can I take a picture?” Thank you for a lovely smile.


Shrines at night.


Shrines at the mall.


At the graveyard.


Old ladies go shopping. (Photo not mine regretfully, it was at an expo. Didn’t catch the photographer’s name)


Decisions are made: “I’ve made up my mind who I want to be, and that’s me.” Gabrielle (aka Coco) Chanel. Or is it Kirsten Stewart? Seriously? I want a word with the copy guy at the Ad agency…


Graves are swept and adorned. Margarita Leyva. 1934-2007.


Pancho Villa is celebrated.


The orange flower of cempasuchil covers all with its heady perfume.


An unlikely waitress. “¿Mezcal, Señor?”


The dearly departed’s favourite food and drinks will be sniffed by ghosts at midnight. A whiff of air signals that they have eaten and drunk. Then the living can hit the bar.


There will be flowers and celebration.


Bands play the dead’s favourite songs.


And ultimately…


Thank you to those young dancers of the Ollin Yolitizi dance company. Your smiles will beat even the grim reaper.


40 thoughts on “Day of los Muertos

  1. C’est très festif la fête des Morts au Mexique ! Tout est très coloré. C’est presque comme si la mort devenait joyeuse… Enfin c’est ce que je ressens. Il y a des costumes… de la danse… de la musique… C’est très beau en même temps… Merci pour ce partage. Passez une bonne soirée.

  2. In the Philippines, they observe Todos los Santos on Nov. 1, and it’s a holiday, no work, no school. I notice marigold is the preferred flowers… same in the Philippines. Not surprising….., the Philippines and Mexico did have a connection for hundreds of years… in fact, at one point, the Philippines was considered a province of Mexico, and was ruled , not from Spain, but from Mexico.

    • I’d forgotten that. But you are right. There were many ties. Even the names and surnames. “Iglesias”. Now I know Renxkyoko is not your real name. 🙂 What can I call you? Socorro? Consuelo? 😉
      Be good and my heartfelt congrats for winning the House back. The Tramp’s days are counted. 🙂

      • Consuelo and Socorro …. Ha ha… these are old-fashioned names, but my mother loves these names, so, yes, my name is kinda old – fashioned , as well. A friend told me my first name is like the name of the bitchy villain in a Mexican telenovela, ha ha. In fact, I have 3 first names, one of which is Maria. Ha ha .. Most of my friends only know my nickname.

      • María del Consuelo, María del Refugio, del Socorro… I even knew a María de las Angustias! Old-fashioned indeed.
        One of my favourite characters in the stories I write is called María. A secas. (Just María)
        That will do. Have a lovely week-end María. 😉
        (Celebrate the retaking of the House!)

  3. Great make-up indeed. But decorating graves feels creepy to me, like they want to resurrect them. Also the skeletons and skulls everywhere are a bit creepy. Death is a natural part of life, yes, but let the dead stay dead…
    Anyway, festivals like this always fascinate me because we don’t really have anything similar and it looks like fun when everyone participates 100%!

    • Despite my many years here, and my understanding of (some of) the reasons why, I, too, still find it a bit creepy. What makes the difference is all those youngsters with make up and huge smiles. (As I have a shown a few). Only smiles can beat Death. Easier said than done. 🙂 Be good Lumi.

  4. Je crois que cette fête est la première chose que l’on associe désormais au Mexique 😊 Le Carnaval de Rio, celui de Venise, le jour des morts au Mexique … de véritables envies de couleurs …

  5. but wait — I missed something here — are you in Africa, just visiting Mexico? either way, am enjoying both your post as well as the educational comments here — especially love your caption on the perfume poster 🙂

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