An altar de muertos dedicated to Lola Beltran © Daniel Wheeler, 2009

Mexico conjures spirits with picturesque ofrendas

Unique observances that exemplify the fusion of Mesoamerican and European cultures, particularly regarding religious practices, render Mexico’s celebration of los Dias de los Muertos as the most distinctive holiday on the nation’s calendar. Customs associated with this festive time of remembrance defy any strict formula, for the practices specific to each region vary considerably. Among […]

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Day of the Dead: Pictures of Oaxaca

Day of the Dead or El Dia de los Muertos in Oaxaca

Drawn by the intrigue of all-night vigils in cemeteries and life-size skeletons propped jauntily in shop windows, tourists flock to Oaxaca and other points in Mexico for Day of the Dead. During the last week in October, voyeurs come to observe and to photograph the “picturesque” practices of “quaint” indigenous Mexicans. The idea of reunions […]

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Chiapas celebrates the Day of the Dead

Raising The Dead

The attitude towards death evidenced in the quintessentially Mexican holiday of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) might be puzzling for some. It isn’t difficult for foreigners to interpret dancing skeletons, candy skulls and general drunken revelry as disrespect for the dead and grief at human loss. Nothing could be further from the truth. […]

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Mixquic: the Day of the Dead and the Day of All Saints in Mexico

In Mexico on the first two days of November, the dead are remembered in a very special celebration which is one of the most hallowed traditions in the Mexican culture. Each year, a series of unique events are held in several parts of the country to commemorate family members who have passed away. In the […]

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Parents diligently arranged this group of children for photographers. Increasingly, the customs of Hallowe'en are creeping into Day of the Dead festivities in Oaxaca and other parts of Mexico.

Through the lens: Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead – photo galleries

Day of the Dead, one of the most important celebrations in Mexico, is understandably difficult for foreigners to fully comprehend. Cemeteries full of families, flowers, food, and music seem daunting to the uninitiated. It took me many years to “get” it, to realize that it’s okay to venture into graveyards and join the festive mood. […]

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Day of the Dead: The calaveras of José Guadalupe Posada

Mexican lithographer Jose Guadalupe Posada: Past and present

November 2 is “El Dia de los Muertos” (the Day of the Dead) and Jose Guadalupe Posada, or “Don Lupe” as he was known to his friends, a poor but prolific printmaker, will come alive once again in the hearts and minds of the Mexican people. Gallery: The calaveras of José Guadalupe Posada No Day of […]

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