Fotoz Friday: Dia de Los Muertos

El Cementerio en Solola, Guatemala en el Dia de Los Muertos
El Cementerio en Solola, Guatemala en el Dia de Los Muertos

Today marks a very special holiday in Latin culture. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is the holiday that focuses on the gathering of friends and family to pray for and remember those who have died.

The celebration takes place on November 2nd, directly following el Dia de Los Santos (All Saints’ Day) on November 1st.

In Mexico, the day is celebrated on a grand scale with special figures and traditions across the country, Here in Guatemala however, it’s a much more subdued holiday.

Family and friends make their way down to the city cemetery overlooking Lake Atitlan, where they spend the day eating, drinking and praying together.

Popular dishes include Ayote de Miel (pumpkin in honey), Elotes (corn on the cob), Jocotes (a tasty cherry-tomato-looking fruit), Tamales and Fiambre (chef salad).

Like in the States, it’s a tradition to bring flowers, candles and gifts to the grave site, but one interesting thing I witnessed that was different, was that people also spent time painting or re-painting the graves to make them unique from one another.  All the colors and different designs make for a colorful and uplifting layout versus the usual gray and dreary cemetery landscape.

Here are a few shots from my stroll through the cemetery this morning on el Dia de Los Muertos.

El Dia de Los Muertos - The Day of the Dead in Solola, Guatemala
In front of the Solola Cemetery where vendors sell snacks, candles and religious items
The view of Solola Cemetery which overlooks Lake Atitlan and the Volcano of Atitlan
The view of Sololá Cemetery which overlooks Lake Atitlan and the Volcano of Atitlan
Local men painting and decorating family tombs on Dia de Los Muertos in Solola, Guatemala
Local men painting and decorating family tombs on Dia de Los Muertos in Solola, Guatemala
El Dia de Los Muertos in Sololá, Guatemala
Kids fly kites on the roofs of tombs as families sit together within the cemetery
El Dia de Los Muertos in Sololá, Guatemala
Flowers line the family tombs on El Dia de Los Muertos in Solola
Fiambre (like chef salad) - A traditional dish on Dia de Los Muertos in Guatemala
Fiambre (like chef salad) - A traditional dish on Dia de Los Muertos in Guatemala

Check out more photos from the fascinating Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires

My name is Gareth Leonard, a Marketing Director turned World Traveler with a passion for slow, meaningful travel. I have been traveling the world full-time for the past 9+ years and document it all on Instagram and YouTube. Come join me!

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