Isla Mujeres Mystery ~ Lynda L. Lock
Sponge Bob and Spider-person

Halloween: it’s the one time of year when perfectly normal people happily make fools of themselves – playing dress-up!  Lawrie and I love costume parties, especially when there is enthusiastic participation of other friends in the zany fun. In previous lives we have worn some unusual outfits.

One year I was an armless-pumpkin requiring assistance to sip a drink through a straw.  Lawrie, on the other hand, was fetchingly attired in a green gingham dress.  Another year I was a bruised up accident victim, and he was the attending doctor.  More recently we were a pirate wench and a headless butler, followed by Miss Piggy and Elmo.  For the third year in a row, Curtis and Ashley Blogin hosted their annual costume party for invited guests at Villa la Bella.    
Sponge Bob and Spider-person who didn’t have a clue!

This year my date was a very handsome Sponge Bob, while I was attired as Spider-person.  I had a slight costume-failure, arriving at the party wearing my costume backwards.  Apparently getting dressed without the aid of a mirror or without looking at the end result before heading out to a party is a very bad idea.  Sponge Bob was of no assistance with wardrobe advice as he couldn’t see his own feet, never mind what I was wearing. 

Sponge Bob also had a slight physical challenge; he could not reach his mouth with a beverage container so he cleverly inserted a length of clear plastic tubing up his arm, and into his mouth to aid with the consumption of a beer or two.  
 
Richard and Linda Grierson
 Halloween or All Hallows Eve is still a relatively unknown tradition in Mexico.  The dress-up, trick-or-treat customs originated in Europe and the British Isles and were brought to North America by settlers. Eventually the traditions found their way into parts of Mexico via television and stores like Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Costco.  Immediately following Halloween are two very important Mexican national celebrations. 
 
November 1st Día de los Inocentes honors children, and November 2nd Día de los Muertos honors adults.  In Mexico the rituals and celebrations venerating ancestors can be traced back about 3000 years to the Olmec, Aztec, and Maya civilizations.

 


The Día de los Muertos celebrations include building private altars using sugar skulls, marigolds, favorite foods and beverages of the departed.  Some families leave a pillow and blanket outside the door to provide a resting place for their loved ones.  In many settlements people have picnics at the gravesite of their family members, including the departed in the feast. 




The holiday is celebrated joyfully with food, music, or parades with elaborate costumes in the bigger cities.  The emphasis is on honoring the lives of the dead, rather than fearing evil or malevolent spirits.

Flowers being delivered via UltraMar for Day of the Dead
Our traditional North American Halloween merriments are small in comparison to the Día de los Muertos celebrations – but various North American and European symbols such as witches, pumpkins, vampires, bats and black cats are slowly permeating the Mexican festivities. 

 

We have recently started to participate in the Día de los Muertos rituals.  We have a small altar in the kitchen, decorated with photos of our parents, flowers and candles and mementos.  Just something to remind us of those special people. 

It is a fun time of year with the costume parties, and a contemplative time remembering our family members.


Special thank you to Ashley Blogin, Joyce Urzada, Richard and Linda Grierson for supplying the photos of the Halloween party. 
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