Mixquic, Mexico

Across Mexico and throughout Latin America the second day of November is reserved for the dead. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is the day reserved for families to gather and be in the presence of the souls of their deceased relatives during an evening of celebration and ceremony.

Tradition is different from town to town, community to community. In Mixquic, a town southeast of Mexico City, the locals gather marigolds to lay upon the freshly cleaned graves of their relatives. Candles are lit for a night-long observance where the spirits of the dead are lured to join their family and friends by offerings of their favourite foods.

While the spirits and loved ones are reuniting in the cemetery of the village’s church, San Andres Apostol, Mixquic’s streets are bustling with a festival full of locals and tourists. The heavy clouds of incense from the town’s graveyard can’t hide the scent of freshly fried cheese quesadillas and cheap bottles of Corona offered up by the residents. Visitors are drawn to the doorway kitchens and makeshift bars like so many souls to a decorated cemetery.

Despite the street party, widows and widowers still keep vigil by the graves of their loved ones.

Images ©2009 Stuart Gradon

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