Days of the Dead – November 2011

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Mexicans have a very different view of death than most Western cultures – here memories of the dead are celebrated, and death is taunted… All over Oaxaca, and much of Mexico, people were setting up altars to connect with, think about, pay tribute to…ENJOY the friends and relatives they’ve lost.  At Hotel Azucenas we invite guests to bring photos for the altar, shop for it with us and then BUILD it. Our is a very traditional design: – a table for placing offerings  – things that “the dead” would enjoy – chocolate, peanuts, fruit…a beer, a mezcal, cigarettes… And, always, beautifully decorated pan de muerto (bread of the dead) – an egg bread with floral designs, faces of Christ or the Virgin (in our case there was also a bowl of cat crunchies, and a liter of  20-50 motor oil for a sadly missed 1988 Chevy van); – and arching over the tables are fresh sugar canes – no longer visible – as they are covered with fresh fruits, flowers and vegetables.; – and within the arch are photos of our dead. We’ve had guests tell us that they find they find “los Dias de los Muertos” to be wonderfully accessible – a happy way of remembering those you’d never want to forget.

• noviembre 11, 2011

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