Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dia de Los Muertos Letdown.

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.


Doña Junta said...

I love your photos though and even though it was not what you expected it still looked awesome. I love how you painted you daughters face and costume totally awesome.

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

So I'm not the only one dissapointed? I didn't want to say anything because I was afraid I'd come across as some jerk Gringo out looking for a thrill off of a Sacred Holiday - but damn it if YOU'RE saying something then I'm coming out TOO! :P

I made C. take me to the cemetary last year but it was just a bunch of vendors selling flowers and fried foods. I wanted to see alters and praying and people bringing food to the graves and. . . well I don't know, STUFF, but for as big as a city as it is, not much was going on.

They didn't even sell sugar skulls or skeleton statues or ANYTHING downtown! I wanted to see all the neat stuff I've read about that's facinated me ever since High School damn it. And maybe a parade or something :P

We went to his Tia's house this year and two of her neighbors actually had alters set up (set up near the windows and the windows kept open)- so I was able to be a voyer for a few seconds before moving on out of respect. That was neat, it was real you know?

Halloween is bigger here than D.O.D too and I think it's a bummer, such a unique beautiful holiday should be kept alive don't you think?

And I still want a sugar skull.


On Mexican Time said...

It's funny you say Mexico's been changing.... I have felt the same thing in many ways. As much as sometimes I'd welcome the change...others like traditions... I don't.

I'm sorry you were disappointed. Looks as though you all made the best of the situation...

Your kids are just adorable! I wish I was creative like that - fairy, bat, princess!! LOL!!

Oh and loove how the Modelo stole the spot light in that last pic!! Kodak!!!

Sunshine said...

Ok....mama..off subject....talking witht he sis...chill laxing on the couch....talking about what tat she wants next....get this....She wants a senorita...with the full get up...on her side...one with the frilly dress and some cleavage...I told her about ur hubby's obsession with senorita vintage stuff....And so I told her yall were coming to Monterrey in...I forgot...you gotta keep me updated..so we can head that way...and get up!

Julie said...

OK, if we're still here during DdlM next year, you def. need to come meet up w/us in DF. :) Or we will meet you in Patzcuaro!!

Refried Dreamer said...

Dona Thanks. we still had fun doing it!

Gringa:What a bummer! you know, i haven't found them here, but in Texas you should be able to order the sugar skull molds and make your own! They were pretty easy to do and fun to decorate.

OMT: I agree with you. I miss simple things in the States and wish that things here were updated, easier and make more sense. But at the same time, everything that you bring from there, you lose something here. Damn it.

Sunshine: ooooh! How fun! Expo is in 6 months. Google Monterrey Tattoo show, or try www.expotatuaje.com The show is coming up in March!

haha...come down and I'll buy the first round!

Julie: Ooooh! i just might take you up on that. Which reminds me, i might be coming to DF on the last weekend in Nov. Hubby is gonna be doing some business and i'll be, well, hanging out at the hotel. Would you be interested in babysitting, I mean, ACCOMPANYING me to... something fun? that big tianguis on the weekend... or where ever?

Julie said...

Sweet! I think we will be around, so yah, let's be in touch! I turn the big 3-0 on the 25th, so I am still trying to think of something appropriate to do to celebrate... :) Drinking may be involved. Where are y'all staying?

Refried Dreamer said...

Ooooh! happy early birthday! I know we won't be there on the 25th though... after the 27th. (sis will be in town.) we'll prolly be stayin again in Zona Rosa, somewhere simple and cheap. Hubby will be doing stuff with the tattoo expo and tattooing....and I might be in need of a drink! we'll stay in touch! thanks!

Rooster said...

The action was all in Michoacan! It's the place to be for day of the dead. Cemetaries all decorated, tons of shops all over selling sugar skulls, atole, elotes, cana, etc. downtown Morelia all decorated with altars and katrinas - even katrinas on stilts. Sorry you missed it!

About Me

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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.


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