Life and Travel in Puebla, Mexico

Tag Archives: Day of the Dead

Last weekend I went downtown to see some of the ofrendas (altars to the dead) that were already up. It’s one of my favorite things to do in October!

The history of Puebla's cathedral in an ofrenda. All the skeletons are dressed as nuns and monks!

The history of Puebla’s cathedral in an ofrenda. All the skeletons are dressed as nuns and monks!

LEgend has it that angels helped put the Cathedral's bells in its towers.

LEgend has it that angels helped put the Cathedral’s bells in its towers.

The "voladores de Papantla" perform at many archeological sites, in an impressive ritual that involves swinging around a pole from their feet.

The “voladores de Papantla” perform at many archeological sites, in an impressive ritual that involves swinging around a pole from their feet.

I wasn't completely sure what this ofrenda was about, but it was based on a historical event in Puebla (I just don't know which one).

I wasn’t completely sure what this ofrenda was about, but it was based on a historical event in Puebla (I just don’t know which one).

Boo!

Boo!

It's unusual to see a skeletal giraffe (!), but this ofrenda was more of an ad for Africam Safari, an open-air zoo outside Puebla.

It’s unusual to see a skeletal giraffe (!), but this ofrenda was more of an ad for Africam Safari, an open-air zoo outside Puebla.


Day of the Dead fell on the weekend this year, so some friends and I went to Chignahuapan to see the yearly show/play that they put on. We also spent some time in Piedras Encimadas, a park about 45 minutes away. It was freezing cold, foggy, and drizzling the whole time, but I’d still recommend going!

Chignahuapan and Zacatlán are both famous for their "pan de queso," or sweetbread stuffed with cheese. It sounds strange, but it's delicious! My friend Adriana took this picture of these cheese-filled alligators.

Chignahuapan and Zacatlán are both famous for their “pan de queso,” or sweetbread stuffed with cheese. It sounds strange, but it’s delicious! My friend Adriana took this picture of these cheese-filled alligators.

Ofrenda Chignahuapan

An enormous ofrenda, or Day of the Dead altar, inside a church in Chignahuapan.

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Chignahuapan is known for its handmade "esferas," or glass Christmas decorations. They were included in this altar.

Chignahuapan is known for its handmade “esferas,” or glass Christmas decorations. They were included in this altar.

Piedras Encimadas1

Piedras Encimadas is a little ways outside Zacatlán. It’s a huge park with strange stone formations (hence the name). Unfortunately we couldn’t see the formations very well due to all the fog!

 

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Piedras Encimadas2

We took a tour on a horse-drawn cart. We originally wanted to walk, but the path was so slippery with mud that we were falling down all over the place!

Chignahuapan Show

After Piedras Encimadas, we went back to Chignahuapan to see the show. It takes place on a platform in the middle of the town’s lake!

 


We just celebrated Halloween at my school today, but it’s also Day of the Dead! Technically the dates are Oct. 28th, 31st, Nov. 1st and 2nd. So get your calavera (candy skull), your hojaldra (sweet bread with a “skull and bones” on top), and a candle and some cempasúchil (marigolds, which guide the spirits), and you’re ready. If you want to go all out, head to Huaquechula in Puebla state to see how it’s done.

A field of cempasúchil, and Cholula's pyramid and church in the background.

A field of cempasúchil, and Cholula’s pyramid and church in the background.

My coworker passed these out to her students.

My coworker passed these out to her students.

A miniature chocolate skull!

A miniature chocolate skull!