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Last updateFri, 27 Nov 2020 10am

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Days of the Dead on pause

Mexico’s unique observances in remembrance of the dearly departed normally encompass a fascinating array of Dia de Muertos happenings that take place from late October through the first days of November.

pg12In an ordinary year different regions and towns across the nation would mark the idiosyncratic season of remembrance in a distinctive ways, highlighted by cherished family and community customs and public events organized by educational, cultural and government institutions.

But traditions that have evolved from the pre-Hispanic era to the present day are going by the wayside in 2020 as people pull back in the face of a pernicious disease that has sickened and killed tens of thousands of citizens throughout the territory.

Inhabitants of Lake Chapala communities will have to rethink how they will pay homage to deceased loved ones buried in local cemeteries, adhering to bans on lively family grave-side celebrations on the usual dates. They won’t be mounting doorstep displays of memorial altars adorned with colorful tissue paper cutouts and laden with flowers, candles, favorite foods and portraits of the dead relatives, perhaps placing offerings inside their homes instead. And the lively Día de Muertos town festivities that usually draw hundreds of participants have been called off this year.

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