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The Day of the Dead at Oaxaca

 
November 1, 2014.-The Muddy Boot visits Oaxaca and between trails and mountain biking we get to experience one of Mexico's oldest and coolest traditions: The Day of the Dead.
By: Elena del Palacio

On the day of the dead, the boundaries between life and death begin to blur. In Oaxaca, we also see the boundaries between cultures and nationalities blur, as people get together to celebrate a tradition that has its roots nearly 4000 years ago.

A celebration of life, through a tradition that embraces death as a positive affirmation of the cycle of life, allows us to reconnect with the spirits of our loved ones on the other side.

 The celebration begins with the Night of All Saints on November first. Through music, comparsas, Catrin and Catrina costumes, the Night of All Saints in Oaxaca is filled with a mix of the new and the old. The air seems to shift with every step you take as you walk through Santo Domingo square. Celebration, longing, awe, respect and amazement build up the intense vibe that makes downtown Oaxaca stir tonight.

 All sorts of comparsas pass by. Some, very traditional, that celebrate this date with typical dresses and typical songs and dances from Oaxaca. Others, with a newer approach, modern music, modern dances, and with a mixture of costumes that resemble Halloween movies.

The next step is to visit the PanteĆ³n General, the oldest graveyard in the city. There are no words to describe the feeling there. The air feels heavy, but in a good way, if there is such a thing. People in all sorts of costumes come to see the altars and illuminated niches.

We stroll around the beautifully decorated graves talking to people of all nationalities while taking pictures with everyone. At the same time, some people are visiting their dead, lighting candles on the altars with reverie and longing for the ones who have left. Still mourning but celebrating the life of the person they are visiting. Some people do it silently and some people bring tequila and mariachis as well as any food the deceased liked. The objective is to honor the dead and there is no place like Oaxaca to do it.

[NM1]Esta parte es como una descripcion que va antes del texto en negritas

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