I’m still in Mexico, enjoying the sun and amazing sites. While here, I wrote a guest blog post for Food Network Canada on the culinary aspects of El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). The blog is now live, so check it out HERE!
I also wanted to share some of the photos I took of the festivities – it’s a visual delight of flowers, candles, colours, people and food – spectacular. Here are a couple shots, with a link below where you can view all of them!
This is from the parade of Catrinas! La Catrina first became popular according to wikipedia by Mexican printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada with his 1913 zinc etching of La Calavera Catrina (which is depicted below to the right, made of various dried beans at the local festival in San Miguel de Allende). Many aspects of the Day of the Dead festival have indigenous roots in an Aztec festival to the Goddess Mictecacihuatl, and some say the Catrina (which means “elegant”) has become her modern representation.
The parade of the Catrinas took place during the evening of Sunday, November 1, through the Jardin – the town square in the heart of San Miguel de Allende. Locals and foreigners both took part in the parade, dressing up in their skeletal best, while costume-clad children ran around (politely) demanding candy from them. The parade culminated in the streets around the square where catrinas would grab unsuspecting spectators and have them dance with the dead to the upbeat sounds of a mariachi band, while other posed for pictures.
Around the Jardin there were several large ofrendas (altars upon which tokens, food, pictures, etc., are left in honour of the dead). The one pictured left was the largest, built like a pyramid with four sides and the traditional seven elevations. The colourful squares adorning it are also used as flags and are strung all around the town to welcome the departed spirits back.
On both evenings, traditional indigenous dancers performed several dances and ceremonies, including a moon ceremony for the full moon that coincided with the festival this year. From what I’ve been able to gather, the woman pictured right was part of a dance group that performed a Chichimeca reservation dance. The dancers were spectacular and the dances were fast, dramatic and incredibly athletic.
As promised, here is a link to the rest of the photos I was able to take while enjoying the festivities: CLICK HERE