Día de Los Santos

1 Nov

All Saints Day (Nov 1) is a national holiday in Peru. Traditional Roman Catholics believe that heaven is opened for 24 hours between All Saints Day and the following day, Día de Los Difuntos (Day of the Dead), when spirits of the departed are permitted to return to earth. Both days are celebrations. As we understand it, one common tradition is to have a family gathering and share together the favorite meal of a departed loved one. It is believed that the spirit of the departed one enjoys the meal, too.

Tomorrow, thousands will go to the cemeteries, where they take flowers and food (again the favorite meal of the departed) to place on graves. It is reportedly a huge fiesta, complete with music and vendors in the cemeteries. They have to put bars on the graves to prevent people from stealing each others’ flowers (including the vendors who just sold them).

We enjoyed the holiday, playing a little soccer in the neighborhood park and going for a walk to get some queso helado from a partially deaf woman who makes it in a little cart on the sidewalk. Tonight we went to the neighborhood chess club at the Georges. Daniel won the tournament, earning the grand prize of 3 soles (about $1). There we also met the Hargroves, who work at an orphanage in Arequipa. We look forward to visiting with them more in the future. All in all, it was a relaxing day with lots of family time and a very welcome break from school. Perhaps tomorrow we will venture out to a cemetery to give a first person account, or perhaps we’ll just opt for the YouTube videos which give a pretty good idea of what it’s like.

One Response to “Día de Los Santos”

  1. michael CHANDLER November 2, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    Daniel has not forgotten his chess skills. Congrats on his victory! Check your USAA account. It has $25 more pizza dollars in it. Enjoy! Your kids inherited love for pizza from at least one grandfather. It’s not heart healthy. Even the veggie pizza’s have fat in the dough and cheese. Yet in moderation, I do partake. Why live to 95 if you can’t live at the table? I’m taking the middle of road approach. I may change after my first stent. Chest pain during exertion is not so painful as it is alarming. I would rather live without it. The hike up Stone Mountain at sea level felt like a 14teener trail to me. I hope not to feel that way again.

    Your home looks very comfortable. I’m glad you chose a nice place to live. It takes some of the edge off the culture challenge. We think you all are adapting very well. Tonight, we go back to standard time. We will be on the same time as you for about the next 5 months. Winter cometh here. Enjoy summer!

    Love, Dad

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