Dia de Muertos
November 5, 2016
After our great trip to Copper Canyon, we were off again to Mazatlan. Mazatlan is about 220 miles south of Topolobampo, so the passage took us 2 days. We had light winds, but enough to let us sail most of the way. It was a relaxing sail and we did quite well getting enough rest when each of us was off watch. I have to say that discovering new podcasts to listen to has made long 3-4 hour night watches go by a lot quicker!
We arrived in Mazatlan at first light and made our way through the narrow channel to Marina Mazatlan. We were most excited to be in Mazatlan to experience Dia de Muertos (the Day of the Dead). This is actually a multi-day holiday celebrated throughout Mexico. It originated with the indigenous people in Mexico to celebrate their deceased relatives. When the Spanish “conquerers” took over Mexico and imposed Catholicism on the native people, the holiday remained and was moved to coincide with All Saints Day and All Souls Day on November 1st and 2nd.
Although Day of the Dead sounds morbid, it is actually a joyful holiday where families celebrate friends and relatives who have passed on. Many families gather at cemeteries and hold picnics. In Mazatlan, on the night of November 1st, there is a parade and everyone gets in on the festivities.
So, we headed to Old Mazatlan to the central plaza where hundreds of people had gathered. Some were in costume and many had their faces painted. It was a mix of locals and tourists, but everyone seemed to have a good time.
With our friends on Adios…
The parade was not really what you think of as a parade in the States with lots of floats. There were some people dressed in fantastic costumes, a few bands that marched through, people with fire hoola hoops, and the beer carts! Everyone is encouraged to join the parade. So, as the parade moved on, more and more of the crowd just jumped in, everyone dancing and having a great time. There were several beer carts where guys on the back of the trucks had kegs of beer and cups passing out free beer. You can imagine the rush of people trying to get to the front of the trucks for the beer!
After watching the parade for a few minutes, of course we decided to jump in! We followed the parade for a while. Mike and Richard (from Adios) decided they just had to make their way up to one of the beer trucks to get some beer, which was pretty hilarious to watch. Ultimately they got their free beer and felt pretty accomplished. Ha!
As we were walking back to the plaza after our parade run, we stopped to take a picture. On the wall was a plaque with a quote from Herman Melville while he was in Mazatlan…. “As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas and land on barbarous coasts.” Fitting.
We’ll be leaving Mazatlan soon and headed toward Banderas Bay!