The Day of The Dead.
Photographs by
Mike Nelson.

The ancestors of the Tarascan Indians in the Lake Patzcuaro area in the Mexican state of Michoacan practise the day of the dead differently from anywhere else in the country. The festival, which is observed in differing forms throughout Central America and the Caribbean, fuses ancient Aztec rituals with Catholicism’s observance of All Saints' Day.For the people of Lake Patzcuaro, whose culture is steeped in tradition, the observances begin for “The Night of the Dead” by cleaning the grave sites of family members.
Often graves are simply a mound of earth marked with a wooden cross. The earthen graves are re-sculpted and covered with orange carnation petals and decorated with candles. Families buy various sweet candies fashioned into skulls and skeletons and specially baked breads to augment the decorative offerings to their dead which are displayed in homes and businesses.