Merida families this weekend celebrated their late loved ones with colorful altars laden with photo portraits, favorite foods and drinks, candles, flowers, crucifixes and other religious symbols.
As part of Paseo de las Animas (Procession of the Souls) observance of Day of the Dead, nearly 20 blocks of Calle 66 south of downtown were lined with more than 300 festive altars recalling departed family members.
As the afternoon of Saturday Oct. 31 wore on into evening and dusk gathered, Calle 66 filled with thousands of participants in Paseo de las Animas, many with faces painted in traditional skull-like designs. The crowd, which also included many foreign tourists and visitors, flowed south on Calle 66 toward the entrance to Merida’s General Cemetery, at Calle 95.
Tiny children with painted faces and elaborate costumes joined in the activities to the delight of their elders. Cameras were everywhere as both locals and visitors snapped photos and filmed videos to provide mementos of the celebration. The air was filled with incense scents and music in many styles.
The narrow street, closed to vehicle traffic, became packed with live humanity as the Paseo neared the Cemetery to visit with the spirits whose bodies had been laid to rest there. The vast Cemetery, packed with tombs and sepulchres, provided a fittingly eerie backdrop for the conclusion of this celebration of the mystery of life and death.
Police presence was highly visible as officers stationed throughout the Paseo route effectively kept the crowd moving in a generally orderly manner. No incidents other than traffic tie-ups were reported.
By Robert Adams for TYT
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