Día de los Muertos pt. 1-Coyoacán y Xochimilco

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It happened, the thing I was looking forward to most about being here this year: Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)! We have spent three out of the last four days exploring different areas of the city and their Día de los Muertos decorations and traditions. For those of you that may be unfamiliar, this holiday is celebrated in México on November 2nd and is a day where families honor their friends and family members that have passed away.

Our first adventure was to Coyoacán, where we of course go fairly often. Though we have never seen the area like this! There were elaborate altars (called ofrendas) in the center square for the occasion.

An ofrenda in the center of Coyoacán


Another ofrenda was constructed like a small town!


Another area of the square had several smaller altars, all “game” themed.

Skeletons playing leap frog


And playing marbles


On Tuesday, we ventured out to Xochimilco, another part of the city, with Fulbright friend Liz. Xochimilco is the “Venice” of México City, with a network of water canals that you can rent a boat and float down. It was beautiful and very relaxing to just sit on the boat and look at the houses we passed.

These were the boats that could be taken through the waterways


The trees and flowers on the side of the water were beautiful


Musicians float alongside the boats, trying to get customers to buy a song


Vendors would also come by our boat selling their wares. In this case, dolls!


We saw a lot of herons


After we finished our boat ride, we walked around the center of Xochimilco. There were a lot of decorations being sold by vendors for Día de los Muertos.

Bright colors!


There were flower stands everywhere!


Just like in Coyoacán, there were a lot of altars set up in the town centre.

Candles, photos of those that have passed, bread, candies, and any types of food or drinks that the dead enjoyed in life are placed on the altar.


Another altar, this one dedicated to a famous actor.


I really liked the dressed-up skeletons in this one.


Pt. 2 of Día de los Muertos soon to come! In the meantime, one final photo: our own ofrenda that we did at home.

The flowers are traditional to place on the altar as well as the candles. We added other food and drink items that our family members enjoyed in life. Some form of the La Catrina doll seen on the far right also appears on many altars, as you have seen from previous photos 🙂

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