Today marks a very special holiday in Latin culture. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is the holiday that focuses on the gathering of friends and family to pray for and remember those who have died.
The celebration takes place on November 2nd, directly following el Dia de Los Santos (All Saints’ Day) on November 1st.
In Mexico, the day is celebrated on a grand scale with special figures and traditions across the country, Here in Guatemala however, it’s a much more subdued holiday.
Family and friends make their way down to the city cemetery overlooking Lake Atitlan, where they spend the day eating, drinking and praying together.
Popular dishes include Ayote de Miel (pumpkin in honey), Elotes (corn on the cob), Jocotes (a tasty cherry-tomato-looking fruit), Tamales and Fiambre (chef salad).
Like in the States, it’s a tradition to bring flowers, candles and gifts to the grave site, but one interesting thing I witnessed that was different, was that people also spent time painting or re-painting the graves to make them unique from one another. All the colors and different designs make for a colorful and uplifting layout versus the usual gray and dreary cemetery landscape.
Here are a few shots from my stroll through the cemetery this morning on el Dia de Los Muertos.
Check out more photos from the fascinating Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires