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Published: November 4th 2018
There is very little for us to do today. The ‘Day of the Dead’ Festival is winding down but there is still music in the square and loud firecrackers exploding everywhere. Eva has explained to me the chronology. So, 31 October is for children (Halloween). On 1 November (Day of the Dead), the children return to the spirit world and adults visit earth. On 2 November (All Saints Day), adults return to spirit world and the saints visit. On 3 November, the saints return and by 4 November, the show is over.
Eva and I spend most of the morning chatting. She tells me about some of the stories from their folklore. A guy called Macario is always hungry because he has a large family. One day his wife makes him a big bowl of tamal (a type of sweet suet pudding) and says it’s only for him. Many people come to try to persuade him to part with the food. He is even offered a set of silver buttons but he refuses. Then an old man appears and Macario cannot say no, so gives him the food. Macario does not realise it is actually a spirit and not an
old man at all. In return for his kindness, Macario is given the gift of healing. If he looks towards the head of the sick person then they recover but if he looks at their feet then they die. One day the king summons Macario as his son is sick. Macario is unable to heal the prince. Macario begs the spirit to heal the boy, knowing he will be executed if he fails in his task but the spirit does not do so and says the boy belongs to him. The prince dies and the king orders that Macario should be beheaded. Macario wakes up to discover it was all a dream...or a nightmare more like! Apparently, this was the plot of the graveyard play that we missed due to the torrential rain two nights ago!
Today is a little overcast but we have spells of sunshine and it feels warm. We attempt to air out the damp stuff from yesterday!
We take a walk into town to visit the Leonora Carrington Museum. Eva tells me that Leonora was a mate of Edward James and an admirer of her artwork. We discover that the museum has only been
open for three weeks. It has been sited here in an attempt to boost tourism in the town. Leonora was a writer and surrealist artist and sculptor. There are a number of weird and wonderful creatures cast in bronze along with some of her paintings.
In a nutshell, Leonora was born in England but was a bit of a rebel. Having been expelled from two schools she went to art school in Europe. She was an admirer of Max Ernst and a relationship developed. Ernst fled the Nazis in WW2 when France was occupied and later married someone else. Leonora was heartbroken and she fled to Spain. Here she suffered a breakdown and was subject to several barbaric therapies. She managed to escape the asylum and married a Mexican Diplomat to gain citizenship. She loved the country and remained in Mexico City for much of her remaining life, writing books and creating artwork said to reflect her experiences.
We return to the posada to collect laundry and part pack for tomorrow. Eva has helped us to arrange a taxi to Cuidad Valles where we hope to get better tickets for our onward journey.
This evening we go
into town for our evening meal and to buy Eva some chocolates...she has been so kind to us. When we return, Eva has made us some tamal! We didn’t know what it was when she told us the story so she has decided we should be educated. It’s a sweet suet pudding with pineapple and vanilla inside - it’s very yummy!
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