Halloween and Day of the Dead in Mexico in the year 2020

Since what is posted on the internet lasts forever, those of you reading this in the future might not remember the year 2020. For those of us living in the present, this year will forever be remembered as the year of the COVID-19 (“19” because it began in the year 2019) pandemic. So many people infected and died, untold numbers with effects that will last for a long time, businesses shuttered, etc. And day by day scientists and doctors are continuing to learn more about this virus than we originally knew.

Here in Mexico our normal holiday activities have been disrupted – Easter, Independence Day (September 15-16 —– NOT Cinco de Mayo), and so it will be with Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and almost certainly Christmas.

Normally for this time of year, graves in the cemeteries are cleaned, altars to the dead are constructed and decorated, but now the cemeteries are closed to this holiday and funerals are very restricted. To see how we normally celebrate, here are links to previous posts, one of our celebration in Colima, and one in Guadalajara/Tlaquepaque:



So this year it will be a very quiet period of time with a few decorative reminders of the season. I have planted marigolds, which provide a pathway for the spirits to join the living.

I’ve also put out a few decorations .

Meanwhile, in the creepy spirit of Halloween, I will devote the majority of this post to spiders, and there are a greater variety of them than I have ever seen.

First, something cute – this tiny, furry white little creature that I found on a leaf stem of my lemon tree. I’ve never seen one before or since, so I really don’t know anything about it.

Here I classify spiders as “indoor spiders” and “outdoor spiders.” The outdoor ones begin spinning their webs at the end of the rainy season, which is where we are right now. You can’t always see the webs, and they are everywhere, so when I leave my house to go into my garden, I look like a crazy woman, waving a stick in front of me to catch any unseen webs. A few times, I have gotten a face full of web after inadvertently walking into it.

Most of the webs are spun by these large scary ones. I’ve seen them strung between trees with no idea how these creatures construct them with such a great distance between the points of contact. As long as they are high enough for me to pass underneath without contact, I am fine with that.

One spider here is very unusual – it seems to have a little triangular house on its back. Perhaps that is where the silk is created, I don’t know. In any case, I have taken videos of it moving incredibly fast, plus spinning the web as well as eating an unfortunate bug.

Finally, there is what I call the “house spider,” which does not spin a web, but waits on the walls inside the house. Less scary in appearance and quite timid. When I blow on one, it scurries rapidly away.

It really is amazing to witness the checks and balances of nature. All the creatures that one would normally not notice I can observe since I am living in their world on my property. My cats keeping the property free of rodents and snakes, spiders controlling insects and the sapo (toad) which eats insects, but will soon disappear when the dry season is in full swing, only to reappear with the next rainy season.

The sapo. At least the cats know enough to stay away from them. They secrete poison in their skin.

In the meantime, we humans of Colima will celebrate the season in a more subdued manner, while keeping the spirit of the season alive, many with altars inside their homes, with decorations and maybe just a skull-shaped glass will do.

My famous apple pies.
Enjoying a milkshake when the baking is finished.

Hoping you all stay safe and healthy. Until next time…………………..