The cemeteries in and around Oaxaca are elaborately decorated for Day of the Dead.

Family members including children and pets all come to the grave site of their departed loved ones and clean, decorate, and tend to the grave. They also eat, drink, visit, dance, and play music as they remember their loved ones. Some people state that they gather weekly at the graves and have family time there just as many people might have a picnic.




One of the five cemeteries I visited actually had a contest on Day of the Dead for the best decorated grave site.














Note that this person died at age 105.

I watched this young boy comforting his mom by repeatedly stroking her back for at least 10 minutes.



The follow photos were taken late at night at a small country cemetery.

This elderly woman takes care of five graves all in this cemetery and runs back and forth with her granddaughter making sure everything is perfect.




Musicians are present and performing at various places in the cemeteries.

Every flower petal is placed strategically and carefully to get the desired effect.


There are five people in this grave. The family has a reputation of doing enormously elaborate decorations each year. You can see five sections each depicting the life and activities of the person.



One woman, whose grandmother died this year, told me that she used to visit her great-grandmother’s grave with her grandmother and that is how she learned how her grandmother would want her grave decorated.



Here they were judging the tallest Cockscomb as part of the cemetery decoration contest.

Eating in the cemetery.

Talking on the phone and hanging her hat on her walker in the cemetery.

Drinking a beer in the cemetery.


I watched this  young man help his grandmother over the muddy area at the grave of her husband.




Before eating this mom is making sure her son’s hands are clean.


This man was cleaning dust and debris off every surface of the grave.



This grave stone noted five people. I never found out about the milk cans.



This family offered us beers and said they would be at the cemetery until they finish all the beers.

This bronze sculptured memorial is unique. There is an inscription with the website of the sculptor toward the bottom.



While we were admiring the sculpture, Tony’s son came and told us that was his father. He added the flowers and candles and then the items his dad liked: cigarettes, wine, potato chips, and beer.

As mentioned, even pets share in the cemetery celebrations.


This family held the photo of their baby who died three years ago at the age of two. What a sweet couple! They were with their family celebrating that child’s life.

The whole family was together.

Different burial sites.