|Sandwich board outside of a coffee shop|
|Our hotels traditional altar.|
|Another hotel altar, and apparently dinosaur bones as well.|
Altars are set up to honor the dead. In businesses they set up a general altar and in homes photos of deceased family members are placed under the cross. Each altar has a cross, flowers, incense, a glass of water, alcohol for adults, the deceased favorite food, candles and a table cloth. Many attributes vary according to who they are honoring and their age for example the color of the candles and table cloth is white for adults and colorful for children.
Merida is a beautiful city and drenched in tradition. There are many interesting shops with everything from your traditional tourist fodder to handcrafted goods brought in from the surrounding villages.
|Mona Lisa Yucatan style (probably from all the fried foods.)|
|Boxito is a hardware store in Mexico, We found this play on the Beatles Abbey Road adorable.|
|Local textile store.|
|Lots of sugar skulls!|
|And of course, sombreros…|
|in every color and size!|
Sugar skulls, or calavera, are the most recognizable icon of the Day of the Dead. You can buy clay sugar skulls but the tradition is to make edible treats from sugar representing the human skull. They are absolutely everywhere in Merida.
|This restaurant is decorated from ceiling to floor with skeletons in the most amusing way.|
|The Beatles as skeletons, wish I had room to bring this one home.|
|Rectoria El Jesus, one of many churches in the area.|
As the sun set on October 31st, or All Hallows Eve, we began to see men, women and children with their faces painted and dressed in traditional clothes. They do not have the tradition of trick or treating but there is plenty of fun to be had and loads of treats to eat.
|There was a marathon just after dark.|
|We met a father and son from New York enjoying the celebrations too.|
|Hammocks for sale amidst the chaos|
We did not see the big parades that are in the movies such as the latest James Bond and I am sure that they have bigger and more epic celebrations in some of the other large cities. But Merida is as beautiful as the people and we enjoyed the laid back atmosphere and hospitality.
|Sisters dressed in traditional attire while playing in the park.|
On to Cancun and beyond!