The “Panteon” or Cemetery on Day of the Dead

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The cemeteries of Mexico differ from those in the United States in terms of color, order, and organization but on Day of the Dead they are like nothing else in the world. The photo above was taken at the cemetery in San Miguel de Allende. Families gather to clean and decorate the graves, they visit with friends and relatives, mariachi bands are playing and the color and joy of the anticipated arrival of the spirits is palpable.  They have prepared the foods and favorite drinks, they’ve decorated their ofrenda at home, they’ve set out the photos, the glass of water to quench the thirst of the returning spirit and they will return to their own home to welcome those spirits to their ofrenda.

Later that night they will return to the cemetery, light the candles and stay overnight to commune with the spirits who have now returned, along the paths of marigolds, to their resting place.

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