I arrived in the jardin this morning at about 9:45AM, early for me, to see only a giant stage set up for the sky harp performance this evening. Very few people. I sat for a few minutes on the bench to see if much was going on. Not much, so off I went to walk to complete my errands.
Returning to the jardin about 45 minutes later, what a difference. The harp player was checking out the sound system and the harp connections. Sounded beautiful.
I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw Sarah's husband setting up her altar almost where he sets it up every year. You see it is usually where that big tripod is located and where Sarah used to have a cart that sold cold drinks before she died about five years ago. We all loved Sarah.
The entire area between the Parroquia and the jardin was full of people transforming the jardin into a creation of Dia de Muertos altars and mandelas made of sawdust, seeds and flower petals.
The women from Guerrero are walking about selling the dolls with the ribbons in their hair to tourists.
Here's an interesting illustration of how they create the mandelas. They have a color photograph of their mandela. They then trace it on the blue plastic. Filling it with flowers, seeds, chilis, and sawdust adds the colors and textures that make it so interesting. When completed it appears to have been done free hand.
Often they separate the marigolds from their stems and thread each one individually onto thread for the decoration. As I walked around, the fragrance of the flowers took me back in memory to the fragrances of the flower market of Patzcuaro so many years ago.
If you notice, there are many young people helping to install the decorations. Here a whole group of teenagers are attempting on this windy day to keep the papel picado straight in order to hang above the streets.