Monday, November 2, 2009
Day of the Dead, Oaxaca 2009
October 31, 2009 - OAXACA, DAY OF THE DEAD
I just experienced the most unusual and can I say extraordinary Day of the Dead in Oaxaca? We went to the City's Panteon General, the public cemetary, for the evening candlelit walk through the graveyard, and at about 11 pm (an hour before the spirits return to Oaxaca; the spirits wait until 3 pm on Sunday in Teotitlan to return home) the amazing sounds of a Requiem Mass (Mozart?) floated through the immense area; it was a live performance by the Oaxacan State Orchestra and Chorus, with four soloists. Absolutely riveting, in the near full moon.
We are out in the countryside now, in Teotitlan del Valley, and last evening we accompanied my weaver friend Bulmaro Perez and his wife Aurea and son Diego to visit her parents, carrying candles, oranges, chocolate and pomegranates to place on their altar before enjoying mescal, hot chocolate and special anis-flavored Day of the Dead bread before retiring. Today, Monday, the spirits return to their place of rest at 3 pm. Twice through the years i I have experienced the local phenomenon of the very, very still day suddenly becoming windswept at 3 pm , just as the bells start to toll grandly in the church -- and the spirits depart in a 'whoosh' as does all logical reasoning. The hair stands up on your arms, and you find yourself wishing them safe passage.
We will go to the local graveyard today at 3 when the whole town returns to the cemetary with food, drink, flowers and relatives to party the day away.....
Posted by Judith Haden at 11:09 AM