Thursday, October 25, 2007

Flowers for Noche de Muertos

A profusion of color fills the streets of Patzcuaro during the week preceding the celebration of Noche de Muertos (Night of the Dead). Flowers harvested from fields of blazing color are delivered by the truckload to sell. Stalls line Calle Serrato on the south side of Plaza de la Basílica. Here one can stroll through throngs of people and a symphony of bright colors. The brilliant yellow-orange of the zempasuchitl, a species of marigold, is the predominant note. Perfumed rivers of its pungent-sweet scent stream through the air. People buy, load and cart away their cargos of blossoms to prepare altars and cemeteries for the night when they remember and commune with their departed loved ones. In the Patzcuaro Lake region, because of Purhepecha indigenous tradition, Noche de Muertos is celebrated, in contrast to Day of the Dead celebrations in most of Mexico.

[Double click on a photo for larger view.]

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