On the 1st Nov, after Thorny’s party we joined thousands of locals and tourists to walk in the Panteon General (Santa Cruz the“old”) cemetery where thousands of votive candles were lit in the burial niches built by the city in the 19th century. They were to accommodate victims of epidemics, those who were too poor to afford plots or those unable to be accommodated in the Catholic cemetery. The candles light the way for departed souls to return to visit their families and friends. (Burials in niches have been prohibited since 1891.)
Outside and inside, there was a fair like mood. There were bands, sandpaintings, a public altar competition and photo opportunities. Here it felt to us, more than anywhere else, a local government promoted Day of the Dead event with no personal element.