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Halloween and Day of the Dead in Ajijic

The Day of the Dead is a big Holiday in Mexico. Some people say that Mexicans don’t celebrate Halloween. Tell that to the little girl in the photo below. She was all ready to go trick or treating in the evening. Just like in the United States, parents take their children out trick or treating to the expensive neighborhoods. I bought enough candy for a hundred children. Only five children knocked on my door. The same ones kept returning.

Girl ready for Halloween
Girl ready for Halloween

I live in a Mexican neighborhood with small homes. What they did in my street is to close it off to traffic, string up balloons and put out tables and chairs and have a party for everyone living on the street. My friend and I took out all our candy and gave it to the children. After we went back home, two young men knocked on my door and handed us two bowls of pazole.

Street party
Street party

The Ajijic Plaza had things going on all weekend. Lots of people walked around with faces painted like skulls. There was dancing. People were enjoying the excitement of the holiday.Dancing couple and old woman walking

Young and old people enjoyed all the activities. I liked to watch the young girls roaming the plaza with their faces painted.

Girls with painted faces
Girls with painted faces

This year they did not put up Catrina dolls on the Ajijic Malecon but they did put one in the Ajijic plaza along with an altar.

Katrina in Ajijic Plaza
Catrina in Ajijic Plaza

On November the first there were altars in Chapala for the children and babies who passed away and on the second they had altars  for the adults. Many young people help to make the altars. It is a party atmosphere yet, for me, also a sense of sadness at the passing of so many loved ones from this world.

Small child photo
Small child photo

You can see in the above photo that her doll and necklace were on the altar. The altars also have their favorite food and clothes and sometimes a wash basin, soap, mirror and towel so the dead can wash up before eating their favorite food.

Bread
Day of the Dead bread

Young people in the above photo are selling a special bread that is only made during this time of the year. Most altars have it for the dead to eat when they return to visit. I bought one and it is delicious.

Altar
Altar

Many of the altars were made to honor famous Mexicans; writers, actors, musicians, Cowboys,etc. It is a good way for the young people who make the altars to learn about their cultural heritage.

People crossing street
People crossing street

Many of the people who visited the blocks of altars wore costumes. There was a real festive atmosphere on the closed off streets.

Students in costume
Students in costume

I spent most of one afternoon walking the closed off blocks in Chapala, enjoying all the energy of the young people. Then I took a walk along the Chapala malecon. I found only one Katrina there  this year. She was made by one of the schools. Her name was Lulu.

Katrina
Catrina

 

Katrinas
Catrinas

I found two more Catrinas on my way to my car. I always enjoy seeing them and all the creativity and work that goes into making them. The dog that was with me enjoyed the Catrina in the photo below. The woman who made it seemed to like the attention her creation  was getting.

Katrina
Catrina

Next stop, the cemetery in San Antonio.

Grave
Grave

I have never been to the cemeteries at night but I have heard that there is always a party atmosphere. Families gather around the graves of their loved ones, eat, drink and listen to music. In the afternoons it is quieter and somber.

Woman at grave
Woman at grave

Not many people were at the cemetery when I was there. It was very peaceful after all the excitement in Chapala with the young people making altars.

Graves
Graves

Almost all the graves had flowers on them, either fresh ones or artificial ones.

Graves
Graves

As I was leaving the cemetery I saw the priest getting ready to have some sort of ceremony. Maybe to bless the living or the ones who have already passed over? There is so much about the Day of the Dead that I do not know or understand.

Priest
Priest

Outside of the cemetery gate there were food stands set up for the hungry living people. Hot dogs, my favorite food. If anyone makes me an altar after I die, I hope hot dogs will be on it.

Hot dog stand

If you are thinking of visiting Mexico and you are wondering when is the best time, try the end of October and beginning of November. All over Mexico they celebrate the Day of the Dead and it is exciting.

 

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Writer Evelyn

I am a single retired woman living in Ajijic Mexico. I participate in writing informative articles about the Lake Chapala area for AccessLakeChapala.com and hope my posts can give you an idea of what to expect when you visit the area.

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2 thoughts on “Halloween and Day of the Dead in Ajijic”

  • Kay

    November 18, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Always enjoy what you send out. Thank you. (Am thinking about moving there…..

    Reply
  • Sheila

    December 3, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Just retired and now looking to come to visit Lake Chapala and Ajiijic in March/April….in the meantime…I love reading your posts.

    My main worry is that I will be lonely………and when I see all the activities available all year round….I think things will be fine.

    Dee

    Reply

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