Recommend July 2010 - (Page 46)

mexico And now for something completely different: skull-shaped candy, perhaps. Or a swim with dolphins not in a pool, but right in the ocean. You don’t have to travel too far to jump into very different customs or striking landscapes. Recommend an exotic journey just a little farther south. MexICO only in W sarah muñoz 46 july 2010 welcoming back the dead It may sound a bit morbid but is in fact anything but—it’s Mexico’s version of All Souls Day, a reminder of those who have passed and a rejoicing of their “coming back” for a time. The way the Day of the Dead is celebrated is certainly unique in this country. Its origins go back to Mexico’s earlier civilizations, with rituals having been celebrated thousands of years back, but is also steeped in the country’s Catholic traditions. The Day of the Dead is one of Mexico’s most colorful annual celebrations, commonly associated with papier mache skeletons, candy shaped like tiny skulls and pan de muerto or “bread of the dead” baked in various shapes. Patzcuaro, in Mexico’s Central Highlands, puts together one of the country’s showiest feasts so that people’s pilgrimage from the afterlife is worth the trip. It can be solemn but joyful, with offerings of food and presents to those who have departed (even bottles of tequila and mescal), decorations and flowers on graves. In some towns, the deceased’s relatives stay by their graves throughout the night, while others build small shrines with candles and religious artifacts in their own homes. Journeys International has a 9-day Day of the Dead tour that begins as people are getting ready to “welcome back” relatives and friends. “This is not a typical Day of the Dead trip. We travel in Michoacan—from Morelia, into the highland Purepecha villages and then to Lake Patzcuaro—where the folk traditions are flourishing and the tourist influx is minimal,” says Journeys International’s director, Joan Weber. “In advance of the holiday, we observe the building of the home altars and the harvesting of the extensive marigold fields. On the holiday itself,

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend July 2010

Cover: Experiential Travel
Editor’s Notes/Agent Speak
Hotel Desk
Tour Talk
Louis Cruises'
Shamwari Game Reserve
Las Vegas
Rancho De Los Caballeros
Calling Indiana Jones Types

Recommend July 2010