The CemeteryDay of the Dead in Sonora
Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead at Cemeteries in Sonora, Mexico
El Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican tradition that interweaves ancient aspects of pre-Hispanic culture with Christian beliefs to create a unique annual event of remembrance for the departed.
A visit to the Panteon, or cemetery, is a central activity of the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition.
Like Memorial Day in the United States, family members of the deceased will buy flowers and other adornments to decorate the gravesite of their departed loved one.
But that is where the similarity ends. Where graves north of the border are typically adorned with a modest flower or floral arrangement, in Sonora they are often awash with brilliant colors from flowers and large, circular “coronas,” festooned with colorful ribbons, artificial flowers and other decorations.
In Sonora, the desert winds carry sand and dirt everywhere, so one of the primary reasons for the visit is to tend to the gravesite. At a minimum this includes sweeping and raking the area around the grave, but typically also includes touching up painted surfaces and making repairs to the gravesite.
And in addition to cleaning and decorating the grave, many families will gather as a reunion, recounting memories of the departed and enjoying a meal at the gravesite with the deceased relative.
And among the activities at the ceremony, musicians wander among the families, offering to play a favorite song of the departed relative.