Saturday, October 31, 2009

El Día de los Muertos

A very special weekend in El Salvador and Latin America: while Halloween is still a custom from the norte (you see some costumes, but I'm told trick and treating has not percolated south), the day of all saints, el día de todos los santos, and the day of the dead or All Souls, el día de los muertos, are very important feasts here. On Monday, Mass will be celebrated in the cemetery and families will decorate the graves of their dead.

Meanwhile, we are also celebrating the first days of summer, and booths are up all around the plaza, selling flowers and sweets for Monday, selling crafts and clothes and books and icons. There's a pizzeria set up at the side of the church, and a loudspeaker amplifying the music. A dance is promised for this evening. I can feel the difference it makes when you don't have to worry about the rain! November and December are the prime months for fiestas here, everyone's favorite time to go to a party or go to the beach or sit out talking late into the night. Welcoming summer in November is a new pleasure for me - especially as I think of all my friends in the northwest U.S. getting ready for winter and the cold, wet, dark months of the year.

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