Do We Celebrate Halloween at Lake Chapala?

October 30, 2013

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Hi Everyone,
Holloween is catching on at Lake Chapala. We had about 20 or so trick or treaters come to our house last year, but the much older tradition called “Dia de los muertos” (Day of the dead) is very alive and well (No pun intended).
Below is a past post from our archives that explains this event.
BUT first… Please click this link for a fun video to wish you all a Happy Holloween.
http://www.jibjab.com/view/dboF1r7ZTty8ugWUmnhb3w
Now here’s the a post from the past.
Chapala cemeteries will soon be alive with people.
No, as far as I know the rapture is not going to happen then, but a day is set aside each year to honor the dead here in Mexico.
It’s not morbid at all, but a practical way to deal with the loss of loved ones.
Dia de los Muertos translates “Day of the Dead” and is also referred to as “All Souls Day”
During the last days of October, most all families here go to the final resting places of loved ones to clean up grave sites, place flowers and in general spruce up the area.
 
In addition, preparations are made for the family gathering to take place a few days later with graveside celebrations commemorating the life of the departed loved ones.
 
The final decorative touches are added the first two days of November.
November 1stis called “Dia de Todos los Santos(All Saints Day) and is devoted to remembering Angelitos – the “little angels” who died in infancy.
Their graves are adorned with wreaths, crosses, ribbons and flowers. Some with less money may use reeds picked from the lake, and or colored crepe paper streamers fashioned into various deigns.
Candy and toys are sometimes left and almost always long-burning candles are set out.
For those who died after childhood November 2nd is the day  for a family outing to the Panteon (cemetery) that often lasts all day and into the night even when it’s hard to say goodbye.
Local priests also arrive for on-site celebrations of  memorial mass.
It’s a bitter sweet time and can become quite a celebration at  with plenty of food and drink, songs, music and even live bands.
A typical Day of the Dead culinary treat is called “pan de muerto” (dead man’s bread), calabaza en tacha (pumpkin slices stewed in brown sugar syrup) and grinning calaveras de azucar (sugar skulls) inscribed across the forehead with common names like Jose, Jesus and Maria.
The idea of these celebrations seem unusual to say the least, to foreign newcomers, but those of us more familiar with Mexican culture recognize the local custom of tomb-side picnicking as a fitting tribute to departed loved ones.
 
In my home my Mexican wife sets out a special table with photos of departed loved ones and decorations of ribbons and flowers and of course the long burning candles which burn all night long during the days of celebration.
 
So, now you know the story of how Mexican cemeteries at least a few days each year are alive with people.
 
Hope you enjoyed this little taste of a different culture. The local customs, traditions, and celebrations of the Mexican people coupled with those of North America like Thanksgiving and those we share like Christmas all combine to give us many wonderful times to celebrate our rich interesting life here at Lake Chapala.
 
If you’d like to discover more about living at Lake Chapala just think of me as your Lake Chapala Information Guy.
 
I’m as close as you keyboard so drop me an e mail and let me hear from you.
 
Help me to find your e mail among the hundreds I receive by putting “Information Guy” in the subject line and it will stand out so I can answer it right away.
 
Siempre tu amigo,
Sid
P.S.
Praise for “How to Live a Caviar Lifestyle on a Tuna Fish Pension at Safe, Beautiful & Affordable Lake Chapala, Mexico”
“5.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative; Great Read, July 24, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: How to Live A Caviar Lifestyle on a Tuna Fish Pension At Safe, Beautiful & Affordable Lake Chapala, Mexico (Paperback)

Just finished the book. It was very enjoyable. I’ve been to Lake Chapala twice in the last two years and I believe Sid really nailed it. The book offered a lot of good advise that I think was spot on. Sid did not sugar coat living there but gave what I would consider a realistic point of view. I particularly liked his personal stories. They added a nice personal touch that really drove some points home. I also enjoyed the many pictures. If you’re at all interested in moving overseas, Lake Chapala is a great option and this book presents an excellent summary of the area.

Go to this link to order:
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