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Monday, January 14, 2013

The Magic Of Patzcuaro (Part One)

A favorite Mexican tradition of mine is the celebration of "Dia de Muertos" (Day of the Dead or All Saints Day), also referred to as "Noche de Muertos" (Night of the Dead). It is a respectful and beautiful celebration of a loved one's life, not death. The town of Patzcuaro is popularly known throughout Mexico for how it embraces this celebration. Families come together and assemble fresh flower alters at cemetery grave sites and /or within their homes. A favorite meal of the passed loved one is prepared and incorporated into the alter, as well as photos and  prized possessions. Candles light the way for the arrival of the deceased spirit as families prepare to spend the night at their respected alters, sharing food, drink, stories and memories from one generation to the next.

Out of curiosity, we asked a family what happens to the food that is placed on the alter and whether or not it is eaten? They said that they do eat the food the next day, but it has no flavor, because the spirit has taken the flavor with them!

Flowers Arrive By The Truck Load

Setting Up The Flower Stalls

Off To Make An Alter

Tzintzuntzan Cemetery Entrance Covered In Marigolds

Generations Of Helping Hands

Finishing Touches 

Cemetery Alter

Patzcuaro not only lights the way for Day of the Dead, but is also part of an Artisan community shared with neighboring towns. I look forward to sharing that story (Part Two) with you in my next blog.

La Senora

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