Gringos & Dia de los Muertos

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Hola to my new blog readers. Welcome!  I’m honored to have picked up a lot of new readers due to the article that recently appeared in Next Avenue. I hope this blog keeps you entertained AND inspires you to live your dreams, whatever they might be. Some of you newbies have tried to friend me on Facebook. As a rule, I don’t friend people who I haven’t met face-to-face, or at least had a few on-line chats with.  If I haven’t replied to your friend request, please take no offense. Once our paths cross we’ll become besties. I’m still honored you signed up to read the blog.  If you are a bit behind in reading about our adventures, feel free to start here.

The isolation of Zihuatanejo

One of the biggest problems living in Zihuatanejo is that it’s fairly isolated. It’s beautiful and mesmerizing, but it’s also far away from other cool places in Mexico. Zihuatanejo dangles other parts of Mexico just in front of you, and then pulls back with days trips that are just far enough away to be out of the running. Acapulco is five hours away, Mexico City nine, and Morelia and Patzcauro are three and four hours. All great places, but not exactly a hop, skip or a jump.

While we’re not restless or bored of Zihuatanejo, it’s time to hit the open road. We’re one month into our six month rental, and it’s time for a jaunt. Me and mi amore and my mom are moseying on down to Patzcuaro this coming Sunday to partake in some Dia de Los Muertos  (Day of the Dead) activities. I’ve wanted to participate in  Day of the Dead festivities for a long time, and we originally thought that we would attend events in Oaxaca. But many people told us that Patzcuaro has one of the largest and most authentic celebrations in all of Mexico, so we made reservations when we were living there in July.  We’ll be in Patzcuaro for four nights with  100,000 of our new best friends.

The Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, is a festival celebrating the reunion of dead relatives with their families. This year it will be celebrated on Nov 1-2.

Customs dictate that during Day of the Dead, people’s spirits come back to visit for one day  and night. Why not honor them with a happy celebration instead of mourning them? To honor them, families build beautiful and colorful altars. The altars have flowers, photos, trinkets and even a favorite food of the dead. Families visit their graves, light candles and celebrate with stories and food. It’s a festive, famliy-oriented celebration based on indigenous practice dating back some 3,000 years.

Our plan is to arrive in Patzcuaro two days before activities gear up, hang out in the main square and watch the tourists descend upon the town. We’ll be staying at the same casita we stayed at during our stay in July. My mom will stay at a nice hotel one block from where we’re bunking.   day_of_the_dead_fabric

During the days leading up to the celebration, we’ll visit some of the many indigenous towns dotting Lake Patzcuaro, including Capula. All of these towns specialize in producing their own handicrafts, including black pottery, embroidered clothing,  catrinas (skeleton sculptures) and my mom’s favorite Carnitas, piles and piles of braised pork   Quiroga is the carnita capital of Central Mexico.

On November 1, we’ve signed up for a Night of the Dead tour with a local tour company.

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Marigolds are popular flowers to use during this time.

We’ll leave Patzcuaro at 9:00 PM and go to a nearby town for a late dinner,  watch some traditional dancing  and then we’ll visit two cemeteries, respectfully visiting the altars of the dead and interacting with those who are commemorating the lives of their departed loved ones. I promise to post tons and tons of pictures of the awesome handicrafts, food and of the alters ( if the families permit). We’re supposed to get back to Patzcuaro around 2:30 AM–well past our bedtimes, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a really important, spiritually-based, indigenous Mexican tradition up close and personal. I’m really looking forward to experiencing this with them.

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Here’s a cool video if you want to learn more about this incredible family rememberence day.

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Gringos & Dia de los Muertos

  1. awesome post. thank you Stacey for sharing your adventure.. Happy travels.

    On Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 3:01 PM, BelieveitOhrNot wrote:

    > believeitohrnot posted: ” Hola to my new blog readers. Welcome! I’m > honored to have picked up a lot of new readers due to the article that > recently appeared in Next Avenue. I hope this blog keeps you entertained > AND inspires you to live your dreams, whatever they might be. Some” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We may run into one another in Pátzcuaro. I am also going to make the trek. For me, it will be a nine-hour journey from Barra de Navidad. Of course, accidentally running into someone on those days is not very likely. Too bad. We could have compared notes of Pacific coast blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One does not mosey “down to Pátzcuaro” from Zihua. One moseys UP because it’s north of you and over 7,000 feet above you in the sky. Sorry, I could not resist pointing that out.

    I do hope the tour company you’ve hired is not going to take you to Janitzio though I would be amazed if that were not included. There are so many better options. Janitzio is overrun with tourists on the big night, many young and inebriated. In any event, enjoy the visit. It’s nice here … and cool.

    Like

    • Hi. Thank you for your comment. My husband Andy chastised me for writing “moseying down” when he saw the blog. He did explain the geography, but I thought it would ruin the flow of my writing. Dear reader, I am glad you corrected me. My husband is laughing. We are not going to the island as a part or our tour and I am very glad!

      Like

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