El Dia De Los Muertos
We arrived in San Miguel de Allende just in time for El Dia de los Muertos. I love how death is viewed here in Mexico and embraced as part of life. What may seem macabre is actually an ancient Aztec ritual melded with Catholic traditions which has evolved into a three day party for people to honor and spend time with their departed loved ones (the Aztecs set aside a whole month for these festivities). Family history is passed down, elaborate altars are made and friends and family are reminded to live life to the fullest. Marigolds, the flowers of the dead, are everywhere and decorate arches for the deceased to pass through to return to this world. Families set out photographs and offer the favorite drinks, foods, sweets and possessions of their dead - these ofrendas are remembering spaces. We saw one ofrenda with a photo of the band Kiss and when we asked about it, the daughters laughed merrily and told us their father loved their music. People dress up as Catrina, Lady Death and her male escort, Catrine and stroll the streets. We've enjoyed the fireworks, mariachi bands, stilt-walkers, sugar skull peddlers and face-painters for the past two days and today, November 2nd, we will go to the cemeteries with everyone else in town.