Friday night, we headed to San Felipe del Agua to another panteon. It was overflowing with people who had come to celebrate members of their families. Lighting candles, placing flowers, eating, telling stories, and welcoming tourists, people were present to say the names of the dead and to keep their memory alive and to take care of their resting place.
We talked to one man about whether our presence is an intrusion and he said it was quite the contrary. It is good for people to know our traditions, to know us he explained. And, this made a lot of sense. If this celebration has at its heart memory, we too help preserve the memories. He also shared that he had not, because of out of town work and other obligations, been to the cemetery for Day of the Dead, but he was there with his daughter and granddaughter to pass on the tradition.
He also let us know that every Monday there is a celebration of the dead in alternating cemeteries in Oaxaca. People take time off of work to go and eat at the graves of their loved ones. The one for Xochimilco area will be on 11/26, and he invited us to attend.