Dia de muertos

So, it’s all about me, right? Since this show is clearly for my entertainment, I’m gonna comment on how I’m finding it.

The first thing to note is that Oaxaca, that’s MY Oaxaca, is suddenly full of fair weather tourists. How very dare they just rock up for this awesome party that is Dia De Muertos? If you haven’t been here for at least a month, putting up with random noisy and dangerous fireworks at all hours of the day, if you haven’t been here to see the earliest decoration go up, then piss off, quite frankly. I haven’t appreciated hearing tourists complain about how crowded it is because they’re the ones crowding us out! We total, genuine Oaxacenos, those of us with at least four weeks here notched up, are feeling jostled in the streets now.

That aside, things have really moved up a gear in the last few days. We’ve gone from the odd store selling masks and gloves aimed at kids to every store having incredible decorations, usually giant skeletons and shrines. The market stalls all sell day of the dead tinsel,  yes, that’s right people, you heard me, day of the dead tinsel. It’s amazing. We may have bought some. Our Xmas tree is gonna be ace next year. We got ghosts, spiders and glow in the dark frankenstein tinsel. Pretty cool.

We are also tasting all the skull dulces we can find :chocolate looks great but tastes awful. Sugar skulls too sweet. Skulls that look as if they’re made from sesame seeds are yummy and we have no clue what they’re made from.dsc_0230

Tonight in zocalo, after a meat market meal, dsc_0275we saw an outdoor performance by a brass and woodwind Orchestra whilst eating local lollies. That was pretty good fun.

On Monday we are going to parade with the kids’ school in the morning and then in the evening we will be going to a cemetery with our school to check out what the other locals do to celebrate this exciting time.

Tuesday is dia de angelitos, which is a day to remember children who died. I think it’s a lot quieter than the following day, dia de adultos, which is the main day. Only after these two days can families take down their shrines and make use of the food stuffs they’ve “offered” to their ancestors.

I had learned about the shrines and seen a few pictures but nothing prepared me for the sheer size and wealth of those we’ve been seeing in hotels  restaurants and shops. I’d also heard about students competing to make the best shrines around town. Until today we hadn’t seen any and then we saw this  being created.

Wow, just wow. So beautiful, so intricate and so moving. Dedicated to women killed by men this year in Mexico. I had to sit and just look for a while.


5 thoughts on “Dia de muertos

  1. Gosh. What an amazing experience and what a great way to get children used to the idea of death. Makes my death cafe look a little sterile. Maybe I’ll take your blog in to show people at the next meeting, if you don’t mind. The photos are wonderful and I agree, those sesame seed-looking skull sweeties look delicious.
    As for the tourists, well, they’re only tourists and will be gone soon……you’re nearly natives by now! ;o)


  2. Hola! Just found your blog but I’m loving it already. Thank you for posting all about your wonderful experiences here in Mexico!
    By the way, those skulls are made of amaranth grain, which is native to the Americas. Amaranth grain is very nutritious! It’s full of protein, vitamins, fiber- a superfood! You can sprinkle it on top of oatmeal or eat it as a breakfast cereal. You can probably find it at the market. My kids love it.


    1. Hi. Thanks for your lovely comment. I’ll check out your blog too.

      Funnily enough someone else told me about amaranth yesterday and I’d never heard of it before! We will look for it on our next trip to the supermarket.

      It’s not hard to say nice things about this country, it’s spectacular.


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