There have been a few celebrations one after another recently, so first I will focus on the most recent, well-known festivities – Halloween and Día de los Muertos. Yes, Halloween is celebrated here, with costumes appearing in stores way before Halloween (as a matter of fact, Christmas merchandise – such as artificial trees and decorations – have also appeared way before Halloween, too), but it is not as important as the Day of the Dead.
On the evening of October 31st. several young children came to my gate. Instead of ringing the doorbell, they were chanting something out loud, but I couldn’t quite understand the words. Candy was handed out, and a while later some older children appeared. It seems that witch costumes with pointy hats are very popular, at least for this year.
Then that was the end of it. I had bought 4 bags of candy, and only used maybe one bag, so a few days later, I donated the remainder to Project Amigo to be used during the Christmas Fiesta week.
The Day of the Dead was celebrated on November 2nd. Ahead of that date, the cemetery was cleaned up. During the actual day, people come to the cemetery, a mass is held there and people put wreaths and the deceased’s favorite food or drink on the graves. I was unable to attend the ceremony in Cofradía, as I had to help out a friend, but I was able to celebrate in Colima that night. There is a narrative and photos of the Cofradía celebration from last year in my blog posts for November 2016 if you wish to see photos and read about it.
Currently, there are 6 nursing students and a nursing instructor from Canada at the University of Colima participating in an exchange program. My friend Magda and I went with them and some of the Mexican nursing students to Colima, where the Día de los Muertos was being celebrated at a local cemetery and sponsored by the local funeral home.
There was singing outside of the funeral home and bottles of water were handed out. There was a couple dressed as skeletons and many people were taking photos with them. Beyond that was the cemetery.
Also inside the cemetery was a stage, where we were entertained by singing and traditional dancers, plus a live mariachi band providing the music.
Altar of Griselda Alvarez – former mayor of Colima and the only female mayor of Colima
A very fancy hearse. I was really impressed with the art work.
Two women in the cemetery dressed as La Catrina
The stage in the cemetery
The Old Man’s Dance
All in all, it was a night full of activity and I am sure the Canadians were very pleased to have been there at this time of year and I was also very happy to accompany them.