Festivities of Day of the Dead arrived in Oaxaca cemeteries

Arriving yesterday at noon to fix the grave of his father, Adolfo, in the pantheon of the Barrio de Xochimilco meant a delay for Citlalli, who not only brought flowers and candles, but chopped paper and catrinas printed on cardboard.

“My dad was a believer in these dates, he was excited, he liked this tradition a lot,” he said as he cut the grass and removed the dried flowers of two roses planted on the grave.

At night all his family brought fruit, the rest of the offerings and lit the copal to greet the spiritual presence of his father.

“For the last two years that he died, we came to be with him, he was a believer that the deceased were coming and we believe that he is already with us,” he said with an illuminated smile on this date that brings back joyish moments.

The parade of catrines and catrinas toured the streets of the Barrio de Xochimilco, in whose atrium of the temple, attached to the pantheon, held the Catrina contest, in which the participants were adults.

With the chords of the Banda de Enientos Infantil y Juvenil of San Lorenzo Cacaotepec that arrived at the atrium of the temple of Xochimilco, the pantheon was filled with music to give rise to the evening that began at 8:00 pm, although there were families who arrived earlier to be next to the grave, faithful to their deceased.

The San Miguel cemetery, the oldest in the city, was closed for the second Day of the Dead celebration due to damage from last year’s earthquake in September.

“It is not the same, I wanted to be at the grave of my daughter today, which is the mere day,” said a mother for whom seven years have not served to lessen the pain she feels for the murder of her daughter.

In pantheons of agencies of the municipality of Oaxaca de Juárez, such as San Juanito, the cleaning work was complicated by the scarcity of water.

“It took a half an hour to fill a bucket with water,” expressed Maria Ortiz angrily, who arrived very early to clean the grave of her husband Facundo, his father Valentin and his grandmother Lydia.

At 88, Josefina was more foresighted. She arrived very early at the San Juanito pantheon, when it was almost empty and could go through the water that allowed her to arrange the flowers that she brought to her husband Isidro and her daughter Concepción, who died of cancer in 2002.

Beatriz and her mother Alicia did the same. Yesterday they were responsible for cleaning and placing flowers in the grave of Isidro, who died eight years ago.

“We arrive from 8:00 in the morning, we leave at 1:00 in the afternoon to eat at my mother’s house and we return at 5:00 in the afternoon to be with my father until the night,” she remembers that Isidro liked these celebrations.

The first year after his death they felt the absence and the faces were sad, but now, they come with joy, to make death a party, remembering part of what they lived.

About the author

This article was written by Ian Hayden Parker, Oaxaca Life staff writer, the leading source for English news in Oaxaca, Mexico.