My feet hit the floor this morning as soon as it was daylight. My mission, to get to the jardin and photograph the altars and mandelas, if there were any.
Last night I looked on the webcam and was astonished to see the amount of people in the jardin. I assumed that any altars must have been trampled and it would be doubtful that there would be mandelas because they typically are made out of dyed sawdust, seed and grains or colored sand.
Some loyal people must have gone in the middle of the night and done the mandelas and the huge altar in front of the Parroquia. I photographed almost all of the altars. It certainly is not as many as in past years.
Sadly. It used to be that the side streets were covered in mandelas made with colored sawdust provided by the carpenters of the town. I did not see one made out of sawdust today. Then the altars used to surround the jardin on all four sides. No where near that many this year. I'm sure it is because of the crowds of tourists now. Again, disturbing, at least to me.
My own altar never happened. It has been way too busy to get all the necessary items, the papel picado, the new clothing, the sugared skulls and animals along with the Day of the Dead bread, food among other things.
I have a sorta altar. It at least has photos of many of the deceased that I think of often. From my dad and grandmother and mother-in-law to my daughter, my husband, my dog Flash and my cat Velcro. In addition I lost a dear friend just recently, and a photo of he and his wife in Paris is displayed.
Here are some of the other altars that I photographed this morning to share with all of you.
responsible for this altar.
It is so touching to know that groups and families plan these ofrendas. I remember being in Tlacala one year and seeing so many poignant altars not to family members, but the town had decided to honor the people who had died trying to cross the US border. It was very unsettling but well done.
I've traveled all over for Day of the Dead. Jalpan and the Sierra Gorda where the altars are covered with orchids. To all the villages in the Sierra Gorda where Father Serra built the five churches. To Puebla, Huacachula to see the satin altars that it is famous for along with other villages in that area. I've not been in Oaxaca for Day of the Dead or Chiapas and that must be next. My most memorable of all however has always been Patzcuaro and the villages and cemeteries surrounding the lake.
If you go to the search area on this blog, you could put in Day of the Dead or altars or Patzcuaro, I assume and see the many photos I've posted in the past of the places I've traveled for Noche de los Muertos and Dia de los Muertos.
It is a beautiful tradition steeped in much symbolism from the Aztecs and very pre-Hispanic. Originally it was celebrated in the spring but when Catholicism came with the Spaniards, it was moved to coincide with All Saints and All Souls day. However, the people of Mexico that I know do not associate it with Catholicism
In a way, its like our Thanksgiving in the USA when everyone comes home for the feast. The only difference here is that it is the spirits of the deceased that are coming home for a feast. And their families and friends are welcoming them.