Alaska, Mexico and Beyond…

“One Journey Leads to Another”

Día de Muertos – Colima, Mexico

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is one of the most important celebrations of the year in Mexico- a day for honoring and remembering ancestors or other loved ones who have died. A few years ago I was living in Colima and was lucky to live across from a park where a special competition took place. Student teams designed and built altars or tapetes (carpets) of natural materials. Since I noticed the activity beginning early in the morning, I was able to enjoy seeing their projects take shape throughout the day.








By late afternoon all the work was completed and thousands of people from all over the city circled the park admiring the intricate designs, eating and drinking special treats provided by food vendors, talking, laughing, and enjoying the evening in true Mexican style! By morning not a bean was left in sight.



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13 thoughts on “Día de Muertos – Colima, Mexico

  1. Great article. Marilyn. Sometimes I feel that our lives here are not as colorful as they could be! Best regards to you both…
    John & Ann

  2. I love it when they used green bird’s eye chili for the tapetes since it is one of my favorite types of chilies. It’s amazing to think the amount of time and the fresh ingredients required to make just one of those beautiful artworks.

  3. I’m glad you liked the tapetes. As you can see they used a large variety of beans and corn, and those chiles really added a special touch. The students started unloading all their materials about 8 a.m. and by midnight the entire event was over and totally cleaned up.

  4. Thank you for sharing this Marilyn. These designs are beautiful – what is impressive to me is that they are ancient designs and from what I can see, similar to some of those found on the Mayan temples. Very interesting how the ancient civilisations of the region influenced each other – for example, Olmec, Mixtec, Maya and even Inca far away (the calendars are not so different).

    • My sister lives in Ecuador, and we have conversations about customs that are similar to those in Mexico, particularly ancient ones before the influence of the Catholic church. Given the great distance between the regions, wouldn’t it be fascinating to know how the people in those civilizations really communicated and traveled?
      There are so many archaeological sites here in Oaxaca (reportedly over 1000) from large excavated sites like Monte Albán to tiny obscure places hidden in the forest. Being surrounded by signs of the past gives an indescribable feeling to the continuation of life.

  5. Wonderful post. I enjoyed about colors very much. In Finland, we have not colors too much. Just at this moment, it is snowing and we got one color – white.

  6. Your description of Finland is the same as Alaska. The intense colors of Mexico are definitely one of the joys of life here!

  7. Hi Marilyn. Thank you for sharing the tapetas. And thanks for stopping by my blog recently. Where does your sister live in Ecuador? I split my time between Cuenca and Canoa. Hope to see you around another time soon. —Kathy

    • Thanks a lot for following my blog. My sister lives in Cuenca and I believe she has been corresponding with you about the writing event over on the coast. She was sharing information about it and I recognized your book name from when I first started blogging a few years ago when you were selling a house and making the move. I had been following, but it (as well as others) disappeared. Nice to reconnect!

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