Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dia de los Muertos

There is a scurry of activity going on in town in preparation for the time of Dia de los Muertos. The tents have been assembled and an array of sugar skulls, lambs, pigs, sugar food and more then I could begin to mention are for sale for use in decorating the altars for the returning spirits on Dia de los Muertos. Think of it as "Thanksgiving for the spirits".......The belief is that the spirits of the departed come home once a year for their favorite foods and to see their families. Many, many living Mexicans travel back home also to be with their families for this incredible tradition. The orange marigolds and red flowers have started showing up in street vendors' booths which are some of the traditional flowers of this season. And, one of the things I love are the papel picado (cut paper) decorations that are hand cut out of tissue paper. They are usually very colorful in oranges, turquoise, fuscia, and yellow. The one illustrated above is by Margarita Fick and she is renown for her work. If you look closely (you can click on the image to enlarge it) you will see not only butterflies but scorpions, crickets, monkeys, mice, cats, lizards and other assorted creatures. It is hard to believe that something this delicate is cut out of tissue paper! Margarita's pieces are expensive, in the $150US to $300 US range. When hung in strings from the ceiling, the least little breeze causes them to flutter like the prayer flags in Nepal. Perhaps there is a connection, I don't know.
I have traveled to Patzcauro to the villages around the lake for Dia de los Muertos (a life altering experience); to Puebla and the villages around like Huaquechula to see the satin altars for children; of course here in San Miguel and now I'm off to a region that has almost no tourism to see what an area not colored by tourism does for its celebration. I promise I'll take lots of photos! So, I've got my "travelin' shoes on" and I'm ready to hit the road next week!.


Gypsy Girl said...

Love this post. Nov 2 is my Birthday, so I have always had an interest in El Dia de Los Muertos. I've read a lot about it, but, I have not had the opportunity to experience it yet.
Love the line about the traveling soes ;)
What region will you be going to for the day of the dead?

Billie Mercer said...

Great post. But I think Margarita Fick's work has gotten more expensive. Still it is just amazing and worth every penny.

Unknown said...

Dear Babs:
I just today saw that you talked about me on your blog. Thank you very much. I would like to visit or have a coffee with you when I am in San Miguel next week. Here is my cell phone number: 442-128-7902. I would love to meet you if it is possible for you. Please call me or email me your phone number if you would also like to meet.
Margarita Fick