photography, San Miguel de Allende

On Dia de Los Muertos, even the dead love a good parade

Traffic finally emptied on the Ancha at 8 p.m. Monday and down the broad street, and out from the Rosewood resort, streamed hundreds of Catrinas, Catrinos, ghouls, skeletons, and even an underworld creature or two.

And they came on fast — as if all the pent-up energy from last year’s cancelled parade was unleashed atop this year’s and resulted in a headlong rush to the finish.

The crowd where Nemiseo Diaz meets the Ancha was so thick and eager that costumed paraders had to run a tight gauntlet, elbowing their way to the merger point.

It wasn’t so much a parade as a fast jog of the living dead in glorious technicolour and fabulous costumes. They marched, they merged, they posed for pictures, they trundled up Zacaterous, turned onto Canal and cascaded into the Plaza Principal where the crush of Catrinas and onlookers must have been something else.

Continue reading
Standard
photography, San Miguel de Allende

Population boom around San Miguel — especially spooky couples — means Dia de Los Muertos is nearly here

This wedding couple, or someone very much like them, shows up on the El Cardo roundabout every year at this time. Always of comfort to see.

You meet the strangest characters on the streets of San Miguel de Allende at this time of year.

Bigger than life, a bit on the emaciated side, and not that responsive to a cheery hello. Their appearance marks the run-up to Dia de los Muertos — Day of the Dead — although I’m seeing that more and more in the plural, Days of the Dead, as just one day no longer seems enough.

Bars, hotels, and boutiques seem to especially revere the dead as they decorate and plan events for days leading up to the traditional Nov. 1 celebration. Door frames get beautiful floral treatments, too.

Continue reading
Standard
San Miguel de Allende

What else would you do after having your face painted but mount horses and ride into the sunset?

IMG_8644 (1)Our downstairs neighbor Jimmy Hickey painted Rose and Caira for Dia de Muertos on Saturday (last day of a three-day observance.)

Jimmy favors the more-colorful “sugar skull” Catrina look, rather than the scarier black-and-white skulls. I think it works with these two!

We’re blessed to have such creative neighbors! Jimmy and his wife, Gina Bradley, both worked in the animation industry. He was an artist and she was a production manager, most recently called out of retirement by Disney to work on “Frozen II.” Jimmy worked for Hanna-Barbera, Pixar and a lot of freelance animation. Continue reading

Standard
San Miguel de Allende

Miss Rose weighs in with photos from last night’s Dia de Muertos parade in San Miguel

IMG_0446A lot of people don’t know this but Rose Alcantara is a shy person. You wouldn’t think it if you ever took one of her pilates or yoga classes.

But that shyness extends to her photography, too.

Whereas I take lots of pictures and post them willy-nilly to the blog, my wife sits down with her iPhone and hits delete, delete, delete, delete, delete. Continue reading

Standard
San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel’s Dia de Muertos parade: Promenade of Catrinas and Catrines

IMG_8530They came pouring down Calle Nemesio Diez from the direction of the tony Rosewood Hotel. Skeletal faces,  gloriously made up and draped in period-piece finery.

These were the traditional — and many untraditional — Catrinas and Catrines of Dia de Muertos.

They walked slowly, awkwardly — the effect being of spirits who’d just crossed over the void and had not yet accustomed their spindly bone legs to cobblestone streets. Continue reading

Standard
San Miguel de Allende

Catrinas and Catrines are coming to life in San Miguel de Allende — for Halloween!

IMG_8219Day of the Dead is ramping up in San Miguel de Allende.

Some stores are draping their entrances in beautiful floral designs. Marigolds are everywhere. Altars to loved ones who have passed away are being erected in household doorways, on staircases, and in the cemeteries and parks.

And, of course, the Catrinas and Catrines are beginning to come alive.

Last week, the only Catrinas in town were in store windows and displays — and they are beautiful. Now, their walking and talking embodiments are hitting the streets!

At least, the face painting is going on all over San Miguel — especially in Centro where outdoor art studios are set up in the streets and scores of people are waiting their turn for the magical transformation to take place.

Here are a few pictures from this afternoon in Centro! Continue reading

Standard