It is now towards the end of 2022, and while some restrictions are still in place – masking in some areas and stores, for example – village life has basically returned to normal. It has been time to celebrate the Day of the Dead/ AKA Día de los Muertos, and for this year I have decided to stay in the village to celebrate.
The week before, many of us went to the cemetery to clean the graves and then place flowers and wreaths there. Some of the larger tombs have been re-painted or broken tiles replaced. The cemetery is also becoming very crowded, and I imagine that before very long will run out of space. I heard that they will be building a columbarium with niches for cremated remains to deal with this lack of space.
Halloween comes a few days before Day of the Dead, and that even has not really caught on here. There were a few children who did Trick-or-Treating, but not many. I heard from a neighbor that some of the children had come to my property, but I didn’t hear them, as my house is at the back of my garden, far from my gate. This is the opposite of most properties here, where you first enter the house from the street and the garden begins at the back of the house.
Anyway, a few days before November 2nd, some college students set up a nice display of Catrinas in our village square and fortunately my neighbor took photos, since the display was taken down the next day.
Enjoying a cappucino and toasted bread during this season
On November 2nd, we all went to the cemetery, where the priest said Mass, people placed more flowers and wreaths on the newly cleaned graves and in general, people gathered with each other to remember their loved ones who have passed on.
Catrinas on display as you enter the cemetery, called the Panteón
Outside the cemetery gates, vendors were selling beverages and snacks. The weather cooperated, and so it was a very nice afternoon and evening honoring our loved ones and acquaintances. As the papel picado says: “Recordarlos es darles vida” – Remembering them is giving them life.