Día de los Muertos

Día de Muertos or Día de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated on October 31st, and the 1st and 2nd of November. It originated and is mostly observed in Mexico.

We started out the day with a traditional Día de Muertos breakfast of hot chocolate and a sweet roll.
This special Día de Muertos bread was being sold at all the bakeries. It has a slight anise flavor to it. The chocolate processors had a lot of business as well.

“Families create altars (ofrendas) to remember the dead. They prepare traditional food and family and friends gather to pay respects and remember friends and family members who have died.”

We walked around taking photos of the altars in hotels and businesses.
The main entrance to a hotel looks inviting.
Just inside the door is a detailed altar.
Close up of the altar looks like a page from a I Spy book.
Beautiful in its simplicity.
The altar at the art gallery in Jatlataco.
On the floor below in front of the altar is this mosaic created with dried beans and organic material.
The ofrendas (altars) have candles, flowers, photos of the deceased along with their favorite foods and drinks.
Mosaic on the floor at the hotel where we’re staying is made of marigold petals, yellow corn, garbanzo and black beans and sunflower seeds. I saw a photo of this man on several of the altars. He was a famous Oaxacan artist who passed away in 2019.
One doorway decorated a little more uniquely caught my attention. than Inside was a gallery and cafe so we stopped to rest our feet and have a cold drink. In the center of the cafe was the arrangement pictured below.
Business slowed down enough for this flower seller to take a siesta.
The skeletons are called Catrinas.
Many people dress in costume and have their face painted like a Catrina.
Not being able to visit the cemeteries encouraged people to parade around town instead.
There were lots of places set up on the sidewalks where one could get their face painted.
Children dress up in costume too.
This little Cruella DeVille has attitude!

“Families clean and decorate their loved one’s graves, and in some parts of Mexico, people spend all night in the cemeteries beside the graves of their relatives and some people have picnics at the grave site as well.”


We were looking forward to visiting the cemeteries, but due to Covid-19 the government closed the cemeteries to large gatherings. Families must make appointments to visit the gravesites.

November 1st was a busy day with lots of people on the streets. Off and on over the multi-day holiday we have heard bursts of fireworks.
One night this went on for over 2 hours on the street outside our hotel room.
This altar was at the restaurant where we had dinner. The flickering candlelight is pretty.

We got over 16,000 steps in walking all over the streets and markets. It didn’t kill me so next time I’ll Meet You in the Morning with one last look at Oaxaca.

Happy November!

The Catrina is very tall. We got to sample 7 different moles (MO-lays) at this restaurant. I’ll tell you about it next time.

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