Sunday, February 3, 2013

Day of the Dead in Xoxocotlan Cemetery, Oaxaca, Mexico

The Mexican people believe that the spirits of the dead come back to visit the living on earth, usually this occurs on the 1 and 2 of November and on these nights and others, many families gather in local cemeteries to celebrate the dead. They cover the gravesites with colorful flowers and thousands of candles. Many generations within a family sit around the gravesite and have a party for dead family members. They eat their favorite foods, drink mescal, a liquor made from the agave cactus, and they sing while the mariachis play the deceased’s favorite songs.

Just outside of Oaxaca City is Xoxocotlan Cemetery where you can truly experience The Day of the Dead festivities. On the night of October 31, many local families begin their nightly vigils in this small cemetery, that is densely packed, as they sit by the tombs and wait for the return of the spirits.

I photographed this little boy as he was placing a candle on his deceased relative’s grave. I shot this handheld at 6400 ISO using just the ambient light of the candles.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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