As we say in Thailand, same same but different. It's true that there are endless variations for all of these costumes, and that's what makes it interesting. While I am always impressed by the super elaborate outfits, sometimes the simple ones are even more effective.
I agree about the costumes, Kerouac. Of course it's fun for onlookers to goggle at the really elaborate ones, but I suspect those in minimal costume have more fun as the day goes on.
Mick, Mexico is a secular country, but people identifying as Roman Catholic numbered around 83% in the 2010 census. There are way, way more religious festivals here than in your country or mine. Well before the Spanish arrived in Mexico, the time of the year encompassing day of the dead was celebrated as the time that the departed briefly returned to earth. After Catholicism took hold (well, was imposed), the feast days of All Saints and All Souls merged with the existing native belief. I think way back in my first Muertos report from 2009 there is a discussion of beliefs around this time of year, and around the world there is a strong tradition of the dead visiting at this time.
As far as it happening all over Mexico, I believe that varies quite a bit, with the celebration being no more elaborate in some places than it would be in Louisiana or France, i.e. putting pots of chrysanthemums on the family tombs. What Oaxaca has going for it is a heavily indigenous population, so a stronger retention of tradition. Also, the city is in a valley ringed by communities, thus the magna comparsa where groups representing each town come into the city. The woman who wrote this article is very knowledgeable and reliable, and it should tell you more about Day of the Dead than most people will ever know: www.tripsavvy.com/day-of-the-dead-in-mexico-1588764
Baby looks as if she is payasoman's long-suffering wife "You look ridiculous in that; stop trying to drag the cute young dead women".
Halloween also derives from syncretism between Celtic beliefs and Christianity. Some holidays simply derive from the seasons; I was cycling home in mist yesterday - fortunately it wasn't cold but everything had that otherworldly character. It was long before dark but I was careful to turn my head and tail lights on.
I was intrigued by the pumpkin re-appropriated for the days of the dead. Of course pumpkin is an American gourd; I've read that the Celts who turned vegetables into lanterns used root vegetables before their arrival in the old world. They are pretty much meaningless now, but it was interesting to see them re-invested as an element in the days of the dead, and their colour matches the orange marigolds and other flowers.
I was cycling home in mist yesterday ... everything had that otherworldly character.
I do love when the weather & lighting conform to a mood or season.
As for the pumpkins ~ I think lots of Halloween stuff sneaked in because it was bright and in the case of pumpkins, had the right color to go with traditional day of the dead dressings. But it's my perception that DofD is going to eventually morph into Halloween, albeit with Mexican touches. It may take another twenty years or so, but I'm guessing the profundity of the true Muertos tradition is slipping away.
That was amusing, Whatagain! I think I figured everything out up to "I am a fan of Halloween", but the rest ...? Hibou = grouch?
Well, I am nearing the end of the comparsa magna pictures. Thank goodness, right? There is still much more to show of this year's days of the dead, my excuse being that this will be it from me. I do appreciate all the great feedback & that you all are sticking with this marathon of a thread.
Some faces in the crowd ~
The darling damsels of darkness ~
Time to leave, so I've worked my way over to the western edge of the park again ~
High over the heads of the crowd is an emblem of Oaxaca ~ the chapulín ~
And one final picture of parade participants ~
Whew! I'm finally out of there & on my way home. 💀 Of course this time of year abounds with photo-ops, so here is one to finish off October 28. But there will be more Muertos to show, so please stay tuned. 💀
Hmm. You made me go look at last year's thread to compare the number of horns, Mich! I have to say that I think I liked being at the form-up to the comparsa last year more than this year. There was something about all the groups being gathered in that long narrow space that made them stay together more and sort of created more of a general feeling of excitement.
Thanks so much for the photos comments. I was pleased with that b&w with orange picture & its sort of floating quality.
As for face painting, of course all those people in the park were made up for the parade, but boy did I see way more people in general made up this year. Every you looked there was a stand set up for face painting, and I saw many foreign tourists all made up.
In thread time, we are now at the 29th of October ~
Hee hee ~ maybe, Kerouac! Actually, this is the first year I remember seeing witch costumes, since the classic hag-on-a-broomstick witch image was unknown here. This is something the traditionalists have been fighting for -- to maintain the old customary images of day of the dead: the bishop, the friar, the ghost bride, the demon, etc. Now we're seeing witches, lots of pirates, Wednesday Addams, etc.
We're now at the morning of the 30th and back at the market. The little girl is trick-or-treating. (!) ~
Pan de muertos ~
My lovely friend Pati at her fruit stand, yukking it up with a customer ~
Candied fruit and squash plus fresh fruit all ready to adorn home altars ~
My two cents : as a photographer, it's better to share a small number of excellent photos than a massive number of so so photos. Overkill. It looks like you just walked around constantly snapping pics, rather than choosing what to photograph. Then you dump them all here. That's not photography that's being a tourist
I have been told that, too, and I beg to differ. Here we have the freedom to each choose our favourite photos in these reports, rather than having a restrictive editorial selection imposed upon us. That is one of the strong points of the internet, compared to paper publications that have to worry about printing costs.
Dear Test Guest ~ what a charming comment from someone who obviously has missed the point of this entire forum. Part of its stated function is to provide a platform for people to tell stories with pictures. And that includes good, bad, and indifferent photographers with the generosity and verve to share their experiences in this way.
Yes, I did walk around snapping photos in order to capture what I could inside of crowds and movement. Yes, some of the pictures are "so so", as you so snottily state. But I want to impart the feeling of the festival, knowing that there is an audience of people who appreciate learning about new things. I feel this gives a better avenue for me rather than setting up a vanity blog to showcase a few good pictures which others are expected to admire.
As for being a tourist ~ I happen to live where the pictures were taken, but since I also travel, I understand the impetus to gawk and take in everything new and different. Everyone on this forum who makes a picture thread also understands that & tries to satisfy the curiosity of viewers. I find the knee-jerk negative view of "tourist" pretentious and narrow-minded.
So, as a self-styled "photographer", maybe you should be out taking pictures instead of using your time to criticize something you obviously did not understand.
I see you are in Texas. Perhaps at least you will go to the polls and vote against Trump's craven puppy dog on Tuesday.
Love & kisses, Bixa
Last Edit: Nov 3, 2018 16:49:18 GMT by bixaorellana: must learn to proofread
Test guest I do not know how you came upon Any Port In a Storm, but for your awareness, it is not a forum dedicated to professional or even amateur photographers. It is a community of people who encourage each other to post photographs and have discussions on a variety of topics of shared interests and activities to educate and entertain one another. While we sometimes pick out a favorite photograph or offer congratulations, I feel the purpose here is to enjoy and thrive on the compilation of the journey of each individuals day or holiday.
Thanks to all you men -- Kerouac, Mark, & Mossie -- for your pithy statements which say all that needs to be said.
And Mich, thank you for saying exactly what I wanted to say, but far more eloquently and succinctly.
So now I will move on to yet more and more pictures which may well have you, my friends, agreeing with TestGuest.
It's still October 30 -- In the afternoon I heard band music nearby. Going out to investigate, I found it was coming from the market. You can see that the flower sellers have been shuffled aside and that there is a crowd of people in the parking lot~
Inside the crowd, hidden by the forest of adult legs, are their pint-sized painted progeny ~
Awww. A Oaxacan "Our Gang", complete with Darla ~
Some of the kids don't care for having to wait in a loud milling crowd ~
There are quite a few adults here to supervise, with a few who are well organized. I believe the kids are going to trick-or-treat businesses, thus the orange sacks ~
Despite our overly low-key experience last year on venturing into the countryside, my constant Muertos picture-taking companion and I decided to give it another try. Our objective this time was San Sebastian Etla and also Villa de Etla. We were hoping to come upon quiet scenes of graveyard decoration or some unknown custom.
Here we are in the San Sebastian cemetery, where apparently people have been laying flowers for the past few days ~
It is crystal clear out today, but very hot. You may think this is a picture of sky and wild marigolds, but it's really a picture of heat ~
There are things to look at as we march along, such as this yard full of fighting cocks ~
Looking up up up into the branches of a tulip tree, Spathodea campanulata ~
Other people slogging through the noonday sun, undoubtedly on their way to prepare the home altar ~
Admirable signage on this business ~
A cottage business of pan de muertos and marigolds, well protected by the fierce puppy ~
Not much going on in the center of San Sebastian, but there are costumes for the headless ~
Such a presentation definitely makes me want to return to Oaxaca. Not living there, I can't imagine being able to absorb the event every year, but the thought of every two or three years makes the desire to see it again grow. Then again, I absorb the Paris Christmas windows and the Nuit Blanche every year and want to see it all each time, so I totally understand Bixa's enthusiasm.
And just like Paris, there are subtle evolutions every time that can be appreciated by anyone who follows the theme.
Casimira, thank you so much! As someone who lives where there is a very big and famous blow-out every year, I know you appreciate the ambivalence between wanting to immerse yourself completely or draw the shades and stay in with a good book.
Kerouac, I am so pleased that you'd contemplate returning to Oaxaca. And you make the perfect point about seeing annual events. I know there are people who wait all year for you to show the Christmas windows and other recurring visual treats from Paris, in all their variety.
Both of you know that you always have a place to stay in Oaxaca. Keep that in mind since this is my last Muertos thread from Oaxaca. Time for someone else to take up the task!
Well in thread time it is the afternoon of October 31. The colectivo let us out near the train station and we're walking towards the Centro of Oaxaca ~
Altar in the atrium of a hotel ~
A tiny permanent shrine commemorating a death on the street. It's ornamented and the candle inside is lit ~
We resisted the temptation to turn ourselves into ghouls ~
Music and movement on little Jardín Morelos ~
There are more dancers and entertainers waiting in the wings, but we press onward ~
Here we are at Plaza de la Danza, next to La Soledad church. This has been the yearly site of the giant traditional sand paintings. Last year there were only the dinkier "sheetcake" sand paintings and this year there are whatever the heck these are. They had small flickering colored lights inside ~
Close to the pedestrian street, we encounter this sweet representative of kiddy costuming ~
And now the revelry! This parade of children stretches for blocks. They're doing some kind of crack the whip/conga line dance and enjoying it immensely ~
Another group waits its turn to do a bony boogie ~
The rest of the line shuffles forward to keep up with the front. They're eating and comparing candy that they've been throwing to the crowd ~
Hi Just wanted to say 2 things : 1/ I like your pics and if there are too many, I will not complain, the ones I like may not be all the ones others like 2/ I meant that I'm a fan of Hallowwen because it made of a sad and dull day something where you can find fun.
3/ is off topic : I resent people going to cemeteries on 1st of now (toussaint as we say in Frenc - all saints ) the way a 'regular' would resent a horde of tourists invading their favorite pub. I know, it sounds weird but somehow I consider 'my' cemetery as - yes, 'mine'... that I can share with people worthy of it - meaning the ones that go quite often, not just once a year... absurd and egocentric but still it is my way of eeing things. Na ! (na is a childish word that means ... er, 'that is how I want it, the way I say, and don't bother answering me, I don't care'... all of this in 2 letters. Na !