The Day of the Dead is about giving respect and honouring our loved ones who passed away, but here in Mexico they do it in a festive and colourful way.
On a dia de muertos tour arranged by my amigas, I went to the southern part of Mexico in a place called Oaxaca (wa-ha-ka). Packed in a small bus, fellow travellers and I were brought to a local public cemetery.
There was a stage with loud blaring speakers, a street market selling food and souvenirs, people offering us pan de muerto (a special bread during the day of the dead) and hot chocolate de oaxaca for free.
There was a bit of pushing and shoving to get inside the cemetery.
Once inside, a sensory overload!
Friends and families gathered around elaborately decorated graves, the air a mix of marigolds and smoke from burning candles, mourning melodies sang by hired musicians accompanied by their guitars.
In Mexico, death is not something to be afraid of, here it is celebrated.
I made a shoutout in 2011 about me being in Mexico for the Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), years after I’m finally here.
Dia de Muertos is a big event in Mexico, it’s as big as the Christmas celebration in the Philippines.
Everywhere I go, I see skulls and bones in all shapes and forms. Papier-mâché skeletons, candy skulls, aylavett!!! I want to hoard everything!
I have a fascination for L’art Vanite, and in fact on my very first art exhibit – T.R.I.P (To Rest In Peace), someone saw my artwork of a hand-colored photograph of a cemetery and said it reminded him of the cemeteries in Mexico. I have a knick knack collection of crosses and skulls. I also make it a point to visit cemeteries wherever I travel, and so Mexico is the ultimate place to witness and experience all that.