November the 1st... Día de Muertos!!!!
Definitively my favourite day... even with everything that's happening in Oaxaca and the remote image of a baseball stadium and a protest altar enriched by nameless benefactors overnight...
A brief description for the uninitiated: an altar is set so your deads come visit you and have some food to gather some energy in their long journey to the land of the dead. You usually cook some special food (your dead's favourite, usually mole, tamales, yolk bread, chocolate), candies and fruits (pumpkin candy, orange, sugarcane, tejocotes, guava candy) and drinks (mainly glasses with water, but also beer, tequila and mezcal)... salt for purification, copal to cleanse the room out of evil spirits, a petate where your dead can rest overnight, a path made of cempasúchil's flowers to guide the dead to the altar, a dog toy (itzcuintli) to guide your dead through the path of deads, and leave it overnight on november 1st and 2nd... You also put your dead's personal belongings and portraits (cigars, pipes, clocks, glasses) and mirrors. And the most important component: the tzompantli (a symbol of victory, where the heads of defeated enemies were put) depicted by sugar skulls (with the names of your deads and yourself on their forefront) and dead's bread (sugar bread with bone shapes).
And remember, it's a party! mourn, honor, remember and share with your defuncts!!!
These photos are from UNAM's megaaltar... this year it was quite weird... altars were thematic with asia and africa. As usual, the best altars were from Facultad de Ciencias and Escuela Nacional Preparatoria.