The weeks are flying by! It’s hard to believe I am going into my final month in Mexico. September through December is such a festive time in Mexico, even more so this year with the World Cup starting in a few days! The last couple weeks have been highlighted by Día De Muertos, helping Someone Somewhere launch new products, and getting ready for my sisters to come visit me!
Día de Muertos is typically observed between October 31st-November 2nd. The night of November 1st is typically considered the most observed day. Different communities and cultures in Mexico will observe this day differently. In Mexico City, there were so many events, parades, and celebrations around these dates. I went with friends to the historic center of Mexico City to watch the largest Día de Muertos Parade.
There were so many people! Even though we were packed like sardines, there was so much joy as people of all ages enjoyed watching the parade floats go by. I have mentioned this before, but one aspect of Mexican culture I respect the most is how people celebrate together and include the elderly. It brings me so much joy to see grandparents enjoying these events with their children and grandchildren. For most of my childhood, I grew up thousands of miles away from my grandparents, and I learned to cherish the moments that I did get to share with them. It is common that grandparents will live with their children and grandchildren as they get older, so grandparents play an important role in family life here.
Since coming to Mexico last year, I have wanted to go to Janitzio, a small island town in Michoacán, a state of Mexico north of Mexico City. This little town of only three thousand is one of the most iconic places to observe Día de Muertos celebrations. Since it is such a small town, it is hard to find places to stay nearby. I had just about given up on going this year when in a conversation with friends, I jokingly mentioned what if we just drove there and came back the same day? A few days later, we packed into the car and started our little day-trip!
Going to Janitzio has been one of the most special experiences I have had here in Mexico. The town is only accessible by boat, as it sits inside Lake Pátzcuaro, the third largest lake in Mexico. There was something magical about the slow boat ride to the town, the island slowly taking up more and more of the view, from a distant spec of light to seeing the iconic statue at the top of the island in full detail.
While this does not apply to all communities in Mexico, in Janitzio they believe that the souls of their loved ones return the night of November 1st. They adorn their graves with candles, flowers, and their favorite items. The community sees this day as a chance to be present with their late loved ones, and many people genuinely feel their presence during these days. For many, November 1st is dedicated to children who left the world of the living, and November 2nd is for those who passed away as adults.
I have attached photos below from our trip to Janitzio. I hope to go back some day and visit the other eight islands around the lake. There was such a unique energy to Janitzio, from the people, the food, and the environment.
With the World Cup coming up, the national pride and excitement is reaching a peak. At Someone Somewhere, we launched a special collection just for the World Cup! Mexico’s national team historically has a hard time making it past the first round of knockouts, so people are hoping this is the year they break through to the quarter finals. My sisters are arriving in the middle of the first week of group matches. I am excited they will get the experience of being in a country where soccer is the dominant sport during the World Cup! Hoping Mexico can win a few matches!
I am so excited for my family to visit! There have been a few museums and landmarks that I have not been to so I can experience it with my family! We have a full itinerary of museums, experiences, and of course, delicious food coming up for us. Can’t wait to update you all on how everything goes!