Mexican Artisans and the Day of the Dead, Pátzcuaro, Mexico

Are you a cultural festival junkie? Treasures abound in Mexico and in your nearby Mexican neighborhood. I still have my sugar skeletons from the Day of the Dead (El Día De Los Muertos) in Pátzcuaro, Michoacan.

Artisans from all over Mexico gather in the central plaza to sell their creations. Families decorate the graves of their loved ones in nearby Tzintzuntzan cemetery with candles, yellow marigolds and food for the dead, holding all-night vigils.

Take a boat across Lake Patzcuaro to the island of Janitzio to see fishermen toss out their elaborate butterfly nets, or watch the candlelit boat processions held November 1st - 2nd. Visit the ruins in Ihuatzio, along the lakeshore, which date back 1,000 years.

Tzintzuntzan produces basketry, carved wooden furniture, glazed pottery and woven goods. Buy pottery and textiles in Quiroga. Tocuaro is known for their mask carvers. Copperware produced by the Purepecha culture lives on in Santa Clara del Cobre. Erongaricuaro produces colorful hand-painted furniture. At the end of October or beginning of November, you’ll find it all in the Patzcuaro marketplace.

The Day of the Dead and other annual religious festivals are held not only in Mexico, but in Mexican communities across the U.S. In San Diego, for example, you can find Day of the Dead celebrations such as this one: mslrdiadelosmuertos.com.

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Hey, thanks, pagalarga! I'm on it! :)

This weekend, for the Day of the Dead, we created an "Offerta" in our front yard, with marigolds, food, candles and a pathway for the souls. My partner, my dog and I were awakened this morning, by a small wooden peg dropping on the floor. Visitors? Maybe.

Bonnie, an 'oferta' is something that's offered for a bargain price.

What you created for the Day of the Dead is an 'ofrenda'. That means an offering, or less literally, an altar.

Thanks. I have heard it referred to both ways, though. Are you Mexican?

I've never heard of a Day of the Dead "ofrenda" being called an "offerta," is that an Italian word? "Oferta" in Spanish means "offer" or "bargain." You may have meant "offering," which is what "ofrenda" means.

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