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 'Between the graves' - The Day of the Death -  unpublished photo's from the article "Célébrer la mort au Mexique "

Day of the Death ( El Dia de los Muertos) is a celebration of the souls of the dead ancestors who come once a year onst and 2nd of November to the Earth to visit their families members and friends. Everybody is creating "ofrenda" and decorating their graves. They prepare the favourite food, play the dead's favourite music, put their favourite drinks on the ofrendas, for the children their favourite toys.During this period there is a belief that the deceased have a divine permission to visit

and enjoy the pleasure of life again.

While on a freelance assignment for, I loved the atmosphere on the cemeteries, that transform in one big party with flowers, music, lots of food and drinks on the graves ,

telling stories and reminding them of their dead loved ones.


Sessions of make-ups and maquillages are everywhere in the city during the celebration Day of the death. Oaxaca, 2022.


People putting flowers "cempasúchiles" on the abandoned graves , Old Panthéon, Oaxaca, 2022.


Maria Magdalena Mathias Ruiz at the grave of her sister who died at 15 years old, in 1966. 

During "the Vela", candle light night in the Old Panthéon , Xoxothlan, Oaxaca, 2022.


Mother of Tayde Regina, died on 27.08.2018 because of the brain tumour, comes every year on 1st November, the ' Day of the Dead Angels"to sleep by her daughters grave. Panthéon Saint Miguel, Oaxaca, 2022.


A woman preparing "Berlas", flowers that are used for the decoration of the graves. Panthéon Saint Miguel, Oaxaca, 2022.


Before the celebration, on the 29th and 30th, there is a time for preparation, cleaning, painting, repairing of the graves. Panthéon Saint Miguel, 2022.


Young couple decorating a family grave with "cempasuchil, "flower that they believe with her unique and strong aroma should invite the deceased to the Earth. Panthéon Saint Miguel, 2022.


Family López at the grave of their mother, wife and grandmother, Panthéon Général, Oaxaca, 2022.


The night of 2nd November, during the last night when the souls will leave the Earth, Panthéon Xoxothlan, Oaxaca, 2022.


Yasmin and her son at the grave of their father.She says she comes to panthéon to put flowers on father's grave to invite him to his ofrenda (altar) at her house. It is a geste to say that we didn't forget. Panthéon, Xoxothlan, Oaxaca, 2022


Cesar Zárate Lopéz mourning at the small grave of his sister Edith, who died when she was 

6 years old. Old Panthéon, Xoxothlan, Oaxaca, 2022.


Lulu, whose father was a firefighter, decorates his grave with the sculls of fighter fighters.

Symbol of the skull is perceived in Mexican culture as a reminder of the cycle of fertility, nutrition and rebirth as much as a symbol of death. Panthéon Général, Oaxaca, 2022


Three Brothers and two sisters around a grave of their mother Delfina. Panthéon Général, Oaxaca, 2022

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A family from Mitla came to the grave of their dead ancestors to have a lunch with them. Panthéon. Général, Oaxaca, 2022.


One of the abandoned graves at the Panthéon Général, Oaxaca, 2022.


Panthéon Général in Xoxothlan during the night of th Day of the Dead.  Xoxoctlan, 2022. 


Luis is contracted by the municipality to repair, paint  the graves and water the flowers at the cemetery. He says because of the two-year closure of the cemetery during the pandemic, the graves need now an extra care and cleaning.  Panthéon Saint Miguel, Oaxaca, 2022.


Ashly made  a "ofrenda"( altar) at her house for her seven deceased. She put fruits, sweets, bier, sculls, toys and etc,  all the things that her deceased liked when they were alive. She commemorates them every year during the celebration the Day of the Death, eats with them by their altar.and play the music that used to play together. Oaxaca, 2022

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