Día de Muertos, Mixquic

Location: Mixquic, Mexico

Date: November 2, 2000.

Camera: Nikon Coolpix 990, built-in zoom lens.

Mixquic is a little town to the south-east of Mexico City. It is known for its traditional celebration of the Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, which is a national holiday that takes place every year on November 2.

There is a cemetery next to the town church, and people gather there to present traditional offerings of bread, food, water, salt, assorted flowers, yellow Cempazúchil flowers, incense, and copal, which is a kind of wood that gets burnt and releases a pleasant, incense-like odor.

Big crowds go to Mixquic every year to see the beautiful offerings in the cemetery. The townspeople put together plenty of food stalls and other arrangements selling random stuff, just like a street fair.

The air in the cemetery was filled with smoke from the incense and copal. The only lighting was that of the thousands of candles. This made the lighting pleasantly soft and warm.

The thumbnails are linked to 1024x768-pixel images. If you want the full-resolution 2048x1536 pictures, mail me.


A beautiful arrangement of colorful flower petals, candles, incense burners, and flowers on top of a tombstone.


My favorite picture in the set. Flower urns, scattered flowers, crosses with inscriptions, warm lighting in the smoke and incense mist, still people, moving people, and gorgeous detail all over.


This would have been a good overhead picture of most of the cemetery. Unfortunately, one of the raised parts of the outside wall's parapet was in the way.


Something that you can see in most of the pictures is people in solemn mourning and then happy, serene people guarding other tombs. You can almost always see someone smiling, and that is a good thing to see even in a cemetery.


The people in the background, standing in a crooked line, are the visitors to the cemetery and the rest of the Mixquic celebrations.


On the foreground, people inside the cemetery intently watch the rest of the mourners. "Mourners" does not sound quite right, however. Many of these people did not go to the cemetery to wring their hearts and memories. They went there to keep company to their dead, to let them know that everything is good and that wherever they may be, they are always welcome here should they decide to come by and delight themselves in the food and flower offerings.


Badly-focused flowers.


People smiling and laughing. Could they be remembering funny anecdotes from their dead?


Flowers in marvelous detail.


It is people all over. Next year they will come back to keep company to their long-gone loved ones again.