I have been fascinated with day of the dead, sugar skulls, cempasuchiles, altars... so much in fact, I was thinking about dedicating my legs to tattoos of such awesomeness. This would be my first real DOD here, since I missed last one travelling back to the States. We declined welcomes to visit Patzcuaro and Aguascalientes from friends that traveled from the States to experience the cultures here.The family and I headed back to San Pancho to visit the graves of family and old memories.
This year's Day of the Dead sucked.
The small town of San Pancho took more time celebrating Halloween than I think DOD. On top of that, my suegra's street was part of the illuminacion. (A block party during the month of Oct. The town changes colonias every week.) Hubby told me that he remembers the streets being full, drinking, dancing.... till the weeeeee hours of the morning. With the addition of Halloween, I figured that it would be a rowdy night and ate plenty of carbs during the day to help soothe the drinking that was bound to come.
Nope. I gained like 5 pounds.
Halloween was weird. We got there at 7pm. Apparently, here in this town, there are no casas handing out dulces.... in fact, you have to go downtown to the businesses... and get your candy. The kids got dressed quickly and booked it to centro. And yes, at 8 o'clock sharp, the businesses shut down and candy time was over. We did get some yummy corn and aquas frescas. Nonetheless, the kids had a great time. Little One transformed into Bumblebee and was the envy of every 6 year old with his super cool costume. Moosecake decided to be a bat/angel/fairy? and dressed the part. We returned to Granny's house, expecting a street full of drunken glee.... nope. Hubby was disappointed. He's always told me of all these crazy stories in Mexico, with the coolest traditions and harmless fun. This wasn't the first time Mexico has failed him. Suegra kept up the cheer and demanded that hubby return with a bottle of tequila. We spent the night drinking with his tias and throwing our OWN illuminacion.
The following morning,Dia de los Santos, we headed out to three cemetaries. We stopped at some stands to pick up some meaningful calaveras and flowers. The final cemetary was to be our campout for the night. After taking a bunch of photos and cleaning off the altars, we finally headed out for Hubby's brother's grave. We brought chairs, beer, flowers, calaveras... and planned to spend the night reminiscing with dear momma.
Nope. At 6o clock around came the guards. The cemetary was being closed, like all the others. What the &*$%? Do you know what day it is? Apparently, they did. The cemetary was being closed anyways. How sad for all the parents who come to pray for their lost and loved children. Damn. We returned home and instead,we finished our own personal altar. I turned my little Moosecake into my own Catrina and took as many photos as she would let me.
We returned to GDL on Day of the Dead for some of hubby's appointments. Guadalajara, for sure, would be more up to the spirit and be rockin some of the DOD festivites. Couldn't find a thing. At night, we planned on visiting some of the downtown cemetaries, which I was sure would be full and lit up. NOPE. ALL the cemetaries had been closed at 6. For what? Friggin' dengue. Damn it. wear a jacket.
It's good. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad that the gov't is thinking about the public health. But at the same time... I was disappointed that I didn't get to experience the festivities, like in Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Oaxaca and other cool lugares. There were no catrinas, no public altars, no mariachis, no candles lighting up the night. The other disappointment was with Mexico itself. Where were all the traditions, the illuminacion, the folklores? Mexico has been changing rapidly, transforming itself similar to the States. I'm sure that's great for the economy and whatnot, but what is happening to the traditions here in MExico? What will happen to the culture, the foods, the stories?
Mexico better have a comeback next year.
- Refried Dreamer
- I've been living in Mexico now for about a two years with my hubby and 2 kids. Not exactly by choice, but we're here nonetheless. Luckily, I live with quite a few of the accomodations that i was used to in the states. In spite of those convienences, we also have a water tank with asbestos, outdated electricity, massive amounts of dust, caterpillars that burn your skin, and thousands of windshield washers on every street corner. My kiddos and I are learning to speak spanish and adjust to life away from our family and friends in the States.