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Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos)

Yesterday was Halloween and today is the Catholic holiday of All Saints’ Day and tomorrow November 2nd is All Souls’ Day and also El Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.

The Day of the Dead is celebrating around the world in different cultures but here, in Mexico, it has attained the status of a National holiday.

It is a day when Mexicans celebrate their loved ones, who have passed on. Altars are constructed honoring the dead and sugar skulls and marigolds adorn these altars along with the favorite foods and beverages of the deceased. At the cemetery at the far west end of Ajijic, Lake Chapala, family members and friends go to be with their relatives’ no longer on earth. It is a beautiful time of celebration with food, drink, flowers and music. The cemetery looks wonderful and everyone is welcome to come and enjoy this time of respect and good feelings.

When we were first here is Ajijic, Lake Chapala, we would go every year to participate in this very moving vigil.

Scholars trace the origins of this modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called, Mictecacihuatl.

Everyone is welcome and it is a very worthwhile observance of the warmth of the Mexican culture. European and certain African nations also celebrate this observance.

It is a very nice way to celebrate the departed and all members of the family take part and make offerings.

Live music is played and there is dancing and good cheer.

Stories and anecdotes are exchanged about their loved ones in the hopes that their prayers will be heard.

Despite the unfortunate name The Day of the Dead is a very uplifting and happy occasion.

Tonight (November 1st) at La Vina Restaurant on Constitucion #16 in Ajijic (766-0281) there is a Dia de los Muertos special dinner celebration with Mariachi Huichol and Artisans. There will be an altar of the dead and a three course dinner of poblano soup, ribs and pumpkin pie all at 6:30 pm. La Vina also offeres 2 x 1 beer every day.

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