Day of the Dead

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“Oh really, you celebrate the Day of the Dead (día de los muertos) in Germany as well?” said the Mexican cab diver (in Spanish). “Well, it’s celebrated a bit differently and we call it All Saints and All Souls Day, but we honor the dead as well.” I responded back (in Spanish). *** “Ach wirklich, Ihr feiert auch den Tag der Toten in Deutschland?” sagte der mexikanische Taxifahrer (in Spanisch). “Doch, wir feiern es etwas anders und es heißt Allerheiligen und Allerseelen bei uns, doch wir ehren ebenso die Verstorbenen,” antwortete ich zurück (in Spanisch).

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I had heard and read that the Mexicans party on the cemetary, but did not expect it to be such a party (especially in Xoxo, almost like Carnival, very strange)! In Mexico the Day of the Dead is the most important holiday of the year. *** Ich hatte davon gelesen, dass die Mexikaner auf den Friedhöfen feiern, doch erwartete nicht so ein Fest (besonders in Xoxo, fast wie eine Kirmes ohne Karusells, schon komisch). In Mexiko ist der Tag der Toten der wichtigste Feiertag des Jahres.

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Normally it’s a 2 day celebration, beginning on the evening before November 1, the spirit of the children arrive to stay with family and friends and leave the next day. The spirits of the adults then arrive the next evening and leave on November 2nd. (Only if November 2nd falls on a Sunday, they will stay for another night and leave on November 3 only!)  To welcome them, families and friends prepare altars/ofrendas in their homes, decorated with chocolate, pan de muertos (bread of the dead), marigold, favorite food and beverages, toys etc. to make them feel welcome and remembered. Visiting family and friends bring more offerings. Such are also placed on their graves. Sugar skulls are made or bought which carry the name of the deceased.

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Welcoming the spirit of a deceased child
Begrüßung für den Geist eines verstorbenen Kindes

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On Sunday morning (11-2)  our tour guide Juan took us spontaneously to a small village cemetary. He wasn’t too keen on the commercialized events in front of the Xoxo cemetary. I thought it was a bit strange as well but delighted immediately at the sight of this small quiet beautiful cemetary. It was amazing to see the sea of beautiful flowers in daylight, shining so brightly.

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Unser Führer Juan fuhr sonntagsmorgens (2.11.) spontan mit uns zu einem kleinen Dorffriedhof. Er war nicht so begeistert von dem kommerziellen Jahrmarkttreiben vor dem Xoxo-Friedhof. Ich fand es auch seltsam und konnte mich gleich für diesen kleinen, stillen, wunderschönen Friedhof begeistern. Das Blumenmeer sah unbeschreiblich im Tageslicht aus.

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Normally it’s a 2 day celebration, beginning on the evening before November 1, the spirit of the children arrive to stay with family and friends and leave the next day. The spirits of the adults then arrive the next evening and leave on November 2nd. (Only if November 2nd falls on a Sunday, they will stay for another night and leave on November 3 only!)  To welcome them, families and friends prepare altars/offrendas in their homes, decorated with chocolate, pan de muertos (bread of the dead), marigold, favorite food and beverages, toys etc. to make them feel welcome and remembered. Visiting family and friends bring more offerings. Such are also placed on their graves. Sugar skulls are made or bought which carry the name of the deceased.

Pan de Muertos *** Totenbrot

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Offerings: fruits, nuts, bread, chocolate

Opfergaben: Früchte, Nüsse, Brot, Schokolade

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Normalerweise ist es ein zweitägiger Feiertag, beginnend am Abend vor dem 1. November kommen die Seelen der Kinder und bleiben bei der Familie und Freunden bis zum nächsten Tag. Die Seelen der Erwachsenen kommen am nächsten Abend und bleiben bis zum nächsten Tag – 2. November. (Sollte es auf einen Sonntag fallen, so bleiben die Seelen einen Tag länger, und verlassen die Familie erst am 3.11.)  Um sie willkommen zu heißen, bereiten die Familien zuhause Altäre/offrendas vor, geschmückt mit Schokolade, Totenbrot (Hefeteig – pan de muertos, Ringelblumen, Lieblingsspeisen und -getränke, Spielzeuge etc. um sie willkommen zu heißen und zu zeigen, dass man ihrer gedenkt. Familie und Freunde kommen zu Besuch und bringen weitere Gaben. Solche werden auch auf den Gräbern ausgelegt. Zuckertotenköpfe werden gemacht oder gekauft und sind mit dem Namen des Verstorbenen versehen.

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Sandpaintings *** Sandgemälde

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Seen near cemetaries, churches and and downtown Oaxaca.

Gesehen bei Friedhöfen, Kirchen und Oaxaca Fußgängerzone.

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Calaveras everywhere

Überall Skelette

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Decoration everywhere

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Giant Papermaché Dolls

Riesen-Papiermaché-Puppen

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Costumes *** Verkleidungen

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Love this cute baby catrina!

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What a unique experience, loved it!
Was für ein außergewöhnliches Erlebnis, war klasse!

15 responses to “Day of the Dead

  1. Your photos are fantastic- the sand paintings are so cool.

  2. hola mi amor!
    welcome home from dia de los muertos, and welcome to the street children of oaxaca shrine project.
    thank you for your loving, artful, joyous contribution!
    your photos…just the visual feast to spark my day.
    love,
    rebecca

  3. Schau auch mal wieder vorbei. Hast recht, wirklich ganz anders als bei uns. Kann Deine Begeisterung nun besser verstehen. Die Nachtfotos sind super gelungen. Das muss ich mir noch ein paarmal in Ruhe anschauen. Hoffe machst Du das mit dem Buchdruck. Einmalig!!!!
    Wünsch Dir ein schönes Wochenende!

  4. What a wonderful celebration!!! Thanks so much for sharing all of these photos and the information. Visual feast!

  5. Awesome pictures! It has been a few years since I celebrated DDM in Mexico. Thanks for bringing back the joyous memories!

  6. WOW Belinda BIG WOW! You certainly captured a lot of fabulous images, your camera probably never had a chance to cool down LOL! It must have been an experience like no other, the color, smells, glow of candlelight and so much more! I can not tell you how much I enjoyed these last two posts. Thanks for letting us look into a piece of what you experienced in Mexico = really awesome = Bravo!

  7. WOW!!!!!! What a smashing post. The flowers look so beautiful everywhere and quite a lot of skulls. So very different and unusual. Thanks for sharing and letting us peek through your camera’s eye!

  8. What an informative post. Thank you for sharing it with us. I have a better understanding of it now.

  9. so etwas siehst du bei uns sicherlich nicht, ganz anders. wunderschöne bilder!

  10. Wow !!!
    I’ve better idea for the All Saints and All Souls Day now🙂

  11. I love your Day of the Dead post. I was in Oaxaca at the same time, so it’s great to see wonderful photos of the same things I saw, and many new things too! Thanks!

  12. I don’t fancy skulls, but the flowers and designs make them look much more friendly and welcoming. Thank you for sharing your photos.

  13. Hey, well it’s been a long time since u upload these photos.. anyway im mexican and im really proud and feel so good when i see foreign people amazed with our traditions. Your photos are so nice…

    Bye

  14. just found your blog and find it very interesting! wonderful art and great sharing. thanks for uploading such wonderful and unique photos!! helps me understand the mexican culture much better.
    gracias

  15. Whitny Karver

    It was very interesting for me to read that post. Thanx for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more soon. BTW, rather nice design this blog has, but what do you think about changing it from time to time?

    Whitny Karver
    incall escorts london

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