Here in the Yucatan, due to it's strong Maya Culture it is known as Hanal Pixán.
Hanal Pixán means "food of souls", and its reference is to the preparation and offering of traditional foods laid out on the altars for the spirits of the returning family and friends who are said to return on this day. I really appreciate the treatment of the dead here, Hanal Pixán is a time to remember and honor your deceased loved ones. It is a festive occasion, a time to celebrate, much like a family reunion. Making an altar can be a way for you to honor the life of someone who was important to you, and remember your ancestors.
Here you can see some of the altars set out, pictures of the family, their favorite foods, candles, flowers, etc.
One cool aspect is that the family sometimes has extra of a favorite food or drink that they will offer to share with the visitors. In fact we were treated to several tastings, just another instance when knowing some Spanish helps. It is really appreciated when you admire the altar, comment on its appearance, ask after their departed, and what is super cool, and I must Thank Samuel for this, is to bring along some sweets and ask if you can leave a treat for their family.
The Paseo de las Animas and the Hanal Pixan are one of my favorite annual events. And one of the few remaining traditional representations left in the Merida City area is here in my neighborhood of La Ermita/San Sebastian. We've gone every year and always enjoy it.
this group was singing a rosary!
this beautiful woman, and her husband in the background, and lovely great granddaughter Lily, invited us to a glass of atole nuevo after we stopped and inquired about her departed family and her altar.
and then are these groups having great fun and doing photo ops for the visitors!
did you know that an 'alma' is the soul of the living,
while an 'anima' is the soul of the dead?