Tuesday, October 29, 2013

El Dia de los Muertos

Today is a very weird, quiet day.  The marina is quiet.  The streets are quiet.  It is really dead.  It is cloudy and we have off and on sprinkles and wind from the passing tropical storm. Perhaps La Paz is getting ready for "el Dia de los Muertos" (the Day of the Dead).

Similar to the timing of Halloween, Mexicans have el Dia de los Muertos to celebrate, remember and prepare special foods to honor the departed.  The streets near cemeteries have paper flowers, candy, skeletons and skulls, and of course, they have parades.  Skulls are painted bright yellow and don the name of the departed.

The people in Mexico believe that the spirit of the dead visit their families on October 31st and leave on November 2nd.

Skeletons, skulls, yellow marigolds, bread baked in shapes of skulls and figures and photos of the family member who died are placed upon an altar with candles and incense and the altar is the center of the celebration.

Mexicans react to death with mourning but also with happiness and joy and fear. They confront their fear by mocking and living with the dead.  In other words, they accept that death is a part of life and teach that concept early in life.  Young children's toys are often painted with skeletons and play "funeral" like we in the US play "house" or "dress-up".  Many forms of art depict death.

Death is a celebration in Mexico. Death is among them.  The children dress up but many have skeleton faces or costumes.  I will be out among the living and the dead and hope to capture it and share in my next blog.

Dia de los Muertos link

So...life continues in the marina.  More and more people are returning and it's kind of like returning to camp.  The community of people in La Paz is quite remarkable.  This is our third year here (only a few weeks here and there before) and we have gotten to be close with many of the cruising community.  It's always fun to see the new and yet familiar faces walking the docks.

That's all for now.  A little history lesson today.  Enjoy the sunset view!

First Mate Kate

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