Alaska, Mexico and Beyond…

“One Journey Leads to Another”

Archive for the tag “Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos)”

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.

 

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GETTING STARTED

MANY HANDS WORKING TOGETHER GET THE JOB DONE!

 

 

ANY MATERIAL CAN BE USED AS LONG AS IT’S NATURAL

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.

ONE PROUD TEAM

ONE PROUD TEAM!

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HIKING OAXACA: Zegache to Ocotlán

All dressed up for the Day of the Dead festivities, this happy couple greeted us in the village of Zegache, where our hike began.

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The group gathered in front of the spectacular church of Santa Ana Zegache. No matter how many times I visit this church, its vivid colors entice me to take just a few more photos!

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We headed out across a  flat and peaceful agricultural valley toward the villages of San Antonino and Ocotlán.  It’s wonderful to see small fields with several  varieties of vegetables instead of gigantic agribusiness farms. People grow many vegetables for sale in local markets, and they use oxen and horses to pull plows and wagons. Farmers in some villages collectively own a tractor and everyone can use it!

Brilliant marigolds and red cockscombs are the favored flowers for Day of the Dead celebrations, and people were cutting them and hauling wagon loads to the cemeteries to use for decorating the graves of their ancestors.

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Yet another beautifully painted church in San Antonino

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Ocotlán was the home of well known artist Rodolfo Morales, and these are sections of a huge mural he painted behind the portico of the municipal building.

And then… what luck! We spotted a sidewalk mezcal bar and joined some locals for a welcome and unexpected end of hike treat!

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For more photos of this and other colorful churches: https://alaskamexicoandbeyond.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/painted-churches/
For a short biography on Rodolfo Morales: http://www.indigoarts.com/gallery_oaxaca_morales1.htm
For interesting information about the saints inside the church: http://colonialmexicoinsideandout.blogspot.mx/2013/10/painted-churches-of-oaxaca-santa-ana.html

WALKING TALL

Thousands of tourists from other parts of Mexico and the world flock to Oaxaca to enjoy the festivities that take place around the Día de Muertos  (Day of the Dead). The plaza and walking streets surrounding the Santo Domingo Church are hubs of activity for art and craft vendors, musical performances, and puestos (booths or stalls) that offer coffee, chocolate, and pan de muertos, which is a sweet bread baked especially for the celebrations. These stilt walkers cruised the area earning pesos from people delighted to photograph them or even be photographed with them!

Lucky to arrive on the scene just as they were donning their stilts, I sat on the curb and watched all the preparations.

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Just tie on the stilts…

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Get up with a little help from your friends…Make some adjustments…

Then stand around and attract immediate customers!

 

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