El Dia de Muertos 2019

Chapala celebrated the Day of the Dead last Saturday, November 2.

We’ve learned a lot more about the celebration and could appreciate its richness even more this year.

One of the essences of the holiday is to mock death itself. The “dead” live on in the hearts and memories of those living. The holiday is one of remembering and celebrating those who have passed on to another existence and yet are well-remembered here.

Every part of the holiday is imbued with meaning. Sure, there’s lot of fun involved too. Costumes, face painting, dressing up. And lots of art and artistic expression in building pop-up monuments to the departed.

Everywhere you go you encounter lots and lots of Calavera Katrinas. This tradition was founded in the early part of the twentieth century artist Jose Guadalupe Posada who satirized Mexicans who were trying to emulate Europeans in dress and style. The satire caught on and now Katrinas are everywhere.

Here’s one with me!

Centro Historico in Chapala is dedicated to the celebration of El Dia de Muertos.

Celebrants start early in the morning building their altars and monuments and then these are displayed during the day and lit up with candles at night.

This year, the theme seemed to be teachers and educators. Even to the founder of Montessori.

Each tier of the displays have particular meanings.

Notice the intricate artwork and the time and effort that goes into each of these monuments. Quite inspiring.

And there were several Xolos, the hairless Mexican dog breed that is thought to be a guide for the recently deceased on their journey to their next existence.

It was quite a day. We look forward to next year’s.