Sunday, November 4, 2007
The Day of the Dead
I visited the Xela cemetery on the Day of the Dead (November 1st). The cemetery was different than most American cemeteries. In the front, there were many tombs. These were similar to the tombs you see in New Orleans. Families rent the tombs, and if they don't pay the rent, their ancestors body is removed and cremated-- and the tomb is rented to someone else! The tombs are used by the richer families in the town.
In the back section is a large hill covered with regular dirt graves with headstones. These are similar to American graves, such as the cemetery in Franklin. Families pay only one time for these, so the regular people use this section.
On the Day of the Dead, many families visit the cemetery. They clean the tombs and graves of their dead family members. They put bright flowers on their graves.
Also, many families have picnics next to the tombs of their ancestors. They eat, play music, and chat. It was like a big party. Many children were flying kites.
Many women were dressed in colorful dresses. Though we were all in a cemetery, it seemed like a happy day.