La feria del hueso/ Bone Festival in Nogales

At the beginning of November, we take out the calaveritas and come up with complex papel picado designs. After learning that Dia de los Muertos is a celebration of the lives of dearly loved people, Day of the Dead becomes a favorite holiday for my students. They love the colorful paper banners, the altars and ofrendas, but they also like the old legend that says that spirits come back in the form of monarch butterflies. 

Traditionally, you can find me at the All Souls Procession here in Tucson. But this year I skipped it, and went down to Nogales, Sonora to experience El festival del hueso (Bone Festival).

The Bone Festival is celebrated every year around Day of the Dead, and it is an opportunity for artisans, small businesses and food vendors to gather and bring a little bit of Southern Mexico to the border. 

In many flower shops, you will find marigolds or flor de cempásuchil, which is the traditional flower for Dia de los muertos. 

Life on the other side of the border feels like a cozy summer afternoon: slow-paced yet full of warmth. 

After the boyfriend and I took a stroll around the city, we ventured into the fairgrounds. The food, the people, the colors, the smells did not disappoint. I have a tremendous respect for the shop owners and their employees, who work extra hard to make sure that the customer is satisfied. And perhaps that's why my favorite thing to photograph on this trip were people hard at work. 

Calaveritas de amaranto and calaveritas de azúcar  (sugar and amaranth skulls) are a staple for Day of the Dead, along with pan de muerto (bread of the dead). There are also many varieties of candy available to the public, which is sold by weight. 

The last leg of the festival was visiting the local cemetery. Tombs are colorfully decorated and families gather around their loved one's tombstone, in remembrance of their lives. When I entered the pantheon I was reminded about the fragility of life, and that every new day is a new opportunity. It is up to us to make the best out of the time we're given. 

Before we left the fair, Erick and I ate some top-notch tacos al pastor, which were only 5x50 pesos, or 5 tacos for approximately 2.42 dollars. You can't top that flavor and price! We left with a happy tummy and a happy heart. I mean, look at our faces! :)