Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day of the Dead

Although the "Day of the Dead" is traditionally a Mexican holiday, celebrated near Halloween, it is also celebrated in Guatemala. Here, it more commonly known here by it's Catholic name, "Dia de todos los santos" ("All Saints' Day"). Most Guatemalans go to the cemetery during the day to leave flowers on their loved ones' graves, and some will eat a meal there, leaving a plate on the graves for their loved ones. 

Guatemalans also celebrate All Saint's Day by making a delicious dish called fiambre, which is a cold salad made of sliced deli meat, cheese, and vegetables, marinated overnight in a vinaigrette dressing.

Here are some pictures of the newly decorated cemetery in my town:

A mix of Guatemalan an American traditions (Guatemalans don't traditionally carve pumpkins)

Cool orange "flowers"

Cemetery in the foreground, the town where I live in the background

Notice the hole for candles near the top of the grave


  1. Why are people buried above ground?

  2. Eddy says that supposedly it's because people should rest looking at the sky, and that originally tombs would be placed facing the sun so that they could see the sun come up every day.

  3. Beautiful photos... I'm thinking is necessary to load some pictures about the cheap tumbs (las personas que si son enterradas)

  4. I'm amazed they are so colorful. I wondered if Guatemala is close to sea level like New Orleans -- if you dig a grave you run into water, so you have to bury above ground. But they are not decorated so colorfully in New Orleans!

    1. I know what you mean about New Orleans, but my town is almost 8000 feet above sea level, so there's no worries about running into sea water here!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Good morning how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Guatemala? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Guatemala in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez