The Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos, is a seriously fun holiday in Puerto Vallarta and throughout Mexico where the dearly departed are celebrated with hopes that the celebration will help them on their journey. People dress up in dead-people skeleton costumes, altars are established, and special foods are prepared. Gaily decorated skulls and skeletons are everywhere. Peggy and I have yet to be in Mexico when the event takes place (which is at the end of October/beginning of November), but the skulls and skeletons are still around, lots of them.
Of the life-size sculptures, I photographed, I could only find one man. This led me to speculate, naturally, as to why. I don’t think there is a reason particular to the holiday. About an equal number of men and women die, right. So is it that the girls dress up prettier, or that their eyes are more beautiful, or is it some other attribute, like the colorful bosom of the top photo.
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32 thoughts on “The Day of the Dead Ladies of Puerto Vallarta”
Well, if it has to be macabre, let it be colourful!
Morbid but beautiful. Gosh, did I just write that?
Gorgeous images. Each region does have their own style.
Closer to travel to San Antonio area for Dis de los muertos sometime – much the same there as families gather items for their family shrines (and sugar skulls for the kids). Even here our local grocery stores will have a section which is larger than their Halloween items. Of course there’s the elaborate costumes (not to be worn for Halloween) and large yard inflatables.
Strange beauty indeed
Wherever Mexicans gather in large numbers, Phil, the Day of the Dead celebrations seem big. I’m sure that Texas sees a lot of the holiday. I really do want to make it to Mexico one of these days for the festival/celebration, but maybe I can find a local celebration in the meantime. –Curt
Just look around, it’s there. What I found really interesting was that each region of Mexico has its’ own different artwork and traditions just for that holiday (there are published books about that by Hispanic publishers) – all respected, none criticized as wrong – More example of variations abound when humans are involved – alike but different…
That’s true, Phil. Much like the variations in food regionally. The spice of life so to speak.
Impressive that when everything else seems to have melted away, the women maintain smart perky breasts. Well, the long necked woman with the red hat is no longer perky, so I imagine she’s older than the others? ha ha. Everyone seems to keep their facial hair after death too. I really have been imagining it all wrong…
I love this post! The colours are bright and exciting and have really livened up my day (ironically) today, since outside it is grey and raining and cold.
Glad the women with their ‘perkiness’ brought some color into your day, Crystal. And I had the same thoughts about the long necked lady. That was belly-button type sagging. 🙂 –Curt
Wonderful post. I love the vibrancy and the endless range of colors…. such a reflection of how Mexico is. The land of flowing saturated colors!
Thanks, Arati. Vibrancy is a good description. It captures the essence of the celebration. –Curt
You have to give it to the Mexicans, Curt. Life enjoyed to the max and even after death the carnival goes on. A kaleidoscope of joy and art, the perfect philosophy. Compare that with cold, barren wind swept forgotten grave-yards here in Australia and elsewhere where facing death is to be expressed in avoiding it at all costs.
Good comment, Gerard. More like an Irish wake where sorrow and celebration are brought together in a good old-fashioned drinking party. I have a real aversion to casket-based funerals, much preferring a memorial celebration where friends and family get together to celebrate a life. –Curt
I think my favorite was the last guy with the psychedelic eyes. But they’re all pretty wild.
That guy definitely looked like he had finished off a bottle of tequila! 🙂 They all have a sense of ‘let your imagine run wild,’ Gunta. The hats alone speak volumes about artistic license. –Curt
What is this strange compulsion I’m feeling to listen the Grateful Dead? How about “Mexicali Blues” — one of the best cuts from Skeletons From the Closet, I’d say. The cover art for the album compares favorably with your photos, although I think you’ve still got the Dead’s graphic artists beat!
The Grateful Dead are often up for a little after life celebration, especially in their poster art. Good choice, Linda. And I am often amused when I pay close attention to the words. 🙂 –Curt
I always find these sculptures in Mexico mesmerizing. So much colour and yet frightening in other ways. Still I find I am attracted like a magnet to them.
I don’t think of them as frightening, Sue, like I do an open casket, for example. Mainly, I find them humorous, but the concept is thought-provoking, like a much more serious Halloween could be. I’ve noticed that most of them are laughing, like the joke is on us. 🙂 –Curt
A stimulating corrective to the idea that we should treat this subject with solemn reserve …
Yes, indeed, Dave. I’m pretty sure that the majority of dead people would support this approach if they had a say in the matter! –Curt
Hard to prove, Curt, but I bet you’re right! 🙂
I have an unfortunate habit of missing festivals, usually only by a matter of days!
I do too, Andrew. And I have other blogging friends whose appearance in an area seems to guarantee some type of festival is happening. –Curt
We are Cur(s)t with the same bad luck!
Oh I love all of these!
Me too, Sylvia. The artists obviously have a lot of fun creating their sculptures, and it shows. –Curt
I love these! I love the Mexicans’ unbridled use of colour. And that last guy! Yeah too much Huichol peyote I’d say.
Laughing. I’ve never tried peyote. But I still remember Castaneda’s descriptions of the results! –Curt
Yeah me too! I loved Castenada back in the day.
I’ve always found skeletons to be . . . well, sorta scary. No idea why. But the more I learn about Day of the Dead celebrations, the more I realize the culture of paying tribute to those who have gone before. These colorful renditions are fabulous, and I wish I could see them up close and personal. Love these.
Thanks, Rusha. The Day of the Dead is a fascinating cultural celebration, a unique way of honoring those who have passed on, and, in theory, helping them along on their way. –Curt