Day of the Dead Parades in Oaxaca

Cheryl and I were sitting on the Zocalo at a lovely outdoor table under the Portico Benito Juarez at Restaurante Terra Nova.  I was sipping my favorite non-alcoholic beverage — mineral water bubbly mixed with fresh-squeezed limeade and eating a delicious chicken, avocado and cheese sandwich made with whole wheat baguette. The Zocalo was ablaze in color.

The Scene:  Sky pure blue, air fresh and clear, jacarandas in full bloom regalia giving forth bright coral flowers.  Balloon vendors held their own parade, holding dozens of reflective beauties by strings ready for parents to buy for begging children.  The young woman selling multi-colored cotton candy could easily hide behind her offerings.

There was an air of expectancy, excitement, the burst of Muertos energy waiting to happen.  Then I heard them.  The sound of a band coming toward us, trumpets, drums, tuba, clarinets, flutes.

Behind them was a wave of colorful banners, streamers and flags carried by children, women and men dressed in extraordinary Isthmus of Tehuantepec splendor.  Those too young to walk rode on the shoulders of fathers, brothers and uncles.  Even the grandmothers joined the parade!

It is a perfect time for mothers and daughters to dress up and take part together.

And for little boys to practice being big caballeros.

Oaxaca is a surprise this time of year.  Around every corner is something extraordinary.

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