Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day of the Innocents, Nov. 1 - at the cemetery

On November 2, Dia de los Muertos (day of the Dead), many people in Mexico celebrate the lives of loved ones that they have lost.  They build altars in their houses or in public spaces and cemeteries for those who've died.  The altars include pictures of the departed and things that they used to enjoy (favorite toys, favorite foods, etc...) They also include symbolic items like water (to quench their thirst after the long journey back from the dead to visit), marigolds (to help them smell the way), candles (to light the path), and many others.
November 1, el Dia de los Inocentes, or day of the Innocents, is reserved for deceased children only.   It tends to be a more somber day.  The 2nd is often more of a celebration.  Both days, as well as a few days before and after, the town is filled with these altars - at the cemeteries, in the main plaza, in businesses, schools, and in people's homes.

Walking toward the cemetery entrance, lined with flowers to buy for the grave sites.

Many people are tending to the grave sites, decorating them, etc.

Hundreds of the sites in this cemetary are for young children.

The grave stones are sometimes very simple,

and sometimes very elaborate.  This was for a teenage boy.

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