I have been waiting for this day all year, Nov. 1! Just my luck, it was only October 24. We still have 1 week to go! We have to start cleaning the house for those who will be coming back to visit us. They are our guests and they expect a clean house. I can't wait! This week is the preparation week. Everyday we have to go to the market and buy the food and decoration for the holiday. By this time the market is packed full with thing. The flowers are sold everywhere, especially the cempasuchitl. There are stands for everything - candles, black ceramic candlesticks, and the fruit of the season which is squash, sugar cane, and bananas. Wel will also have to go the bakeries. the bakeries prepare "pan de muerto" which is the bread of the dead.
After the week of hard work and a lot of cooking, October 31 is here! The eve of the big celebration. First we put the living room furniture aside to get the table ready. Then we cover the table with a white cloth. Once the table cloth is on the table we carefully place the little toys for those who were close to us that had died as children. After that we take their special belongings out of thier box. To me, it's like opening a treasure chest. I learn a lot about each person by looking at these things. Then we place the candles on the altar one by one. A big candle for grandpa, another for Uncle Pedro... My grandma said that the candles light would guide their souls to our house, and each person had their own candle because there was something special to remember about each one of them. We also put a picture of each person on the altar and place a glass of water and a little plate of salt out to relieve the thirst of the souls that return. My grandma spends the rest of the day in the kitchen making each of the souls' favorite meals. The food would never actually be eaten by anyone. It was just so that the souls would enjoy the delicious aroma. After everything is ready, we go to the cemetary with more flowers and candles to wait for the souls to arive. To call the souls, the church bells ring all night.
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