It is Christmas Eve. I suppose this might be a good time to post a photo of St. Nick, but I have never been able to catch the slippery bastard with my camera. Not that I haven’t tried setting an infrared camera trap for him, but all I get Christmas morning is an empty cookie plate and a lump of coal in my stocking. Drats! I must be doing something wrong. . . . Maybe next year I just will set a leg trap.

In lieu of an explosive Santa Clause¬†photo¬†expos√©, I thought I might post a few pics from Day of the Dead¬†vigil I attended a last month¬†in Mexico. In this case, it is an overnight vigil more accurately called the “Night of the Dead”.

I went to the Lake Patzcuaro region west of Morelia in Michoacan. It is a beautiful area, filled with native Purepecha villages around a lovely lake and a huge volcanic basin. ¬†In the center of the lake is small island called Janitzio composed of one big hill and a town that has sprouted to cover just about ever inch of available space. Janitzio has become renowned for its wonderful Day of the Dead festivities, including the vigil in its small cemetery.On the night of November 1, locals put up marigold-laden ofrendas (or altars) to departed loved ones, set out some of the departed’s favorites drinks, eats and smokes, and wait out the night for their departed’s yearly return.

It is an incredibly moving sight to witness and I may talk more about the beauty of that ceremony in a later post. For now, I though I might post a few photos of people during the long wait through that cold November night. Let me know your favorites! Click the thumbnails at the bottom to view a short slideshow.

Women waiting in candle-lit cemetery during the Night of the Dead (Noche de Muerto) night-time vigil at cemetery on Isla de Janitzio as part of longer Day of the Dead festivities, Lake P√°tzcuaro, P√°tzcuaro, Michoac√°n de Ocampo, Mexico.

Women waiting in candle-lit cemetery during the Night of the Dead (Noche de Muerto) night-time vigil at cemetery on Isla de Janitzio as part of longer Day of the Dead festivities, Lake P√°tzcuaro, P√°tzcuaro, Michoac√°n de Ocampo, Mexico. Fuji X-Pro II. 90mm (135mm equiv.) ISO 4000. f/2 @ 1/30 sec.

Woman at ofrenda or altar dedicated to dead at candle-lit cemetery during the Night of the Dead (Noche de Muerto) night-time vigil at cemetery on Isla de Janitzio as part of longer Day of the Dead festivities, Lake P√°tzcuaro, P√°tzcuaro, Michoac√°n de Ocampo, Mexico.

Woman at ofrenda or altar dedicated to dead at candle-lit cemetery during the Night of the Dead (Noche de Muerto) night-time vigil at cemetery on Isla de Janitzio as part of longer Day of the Dead festivities, Lake P√°tzcuaro, P√°tzcuaro, Michoac√°n de Ocampo, Mexico. Fuji X-Pro II. 35mm (53mm. equiv.) ISO 3200. f/2 @ 1/50 sec.

 

Woman keeping vigil at ofrenda or altar dedicated to dead at candle-lit cemetery during the Night of the Dead (Noche de Muerto) night-time vigil at cemetery on Isla de Janitzio as part of longer Day of the Dead festivities, Lake P√°tzcuaro, P√°tzcuaro, Michoac√°n de Ocampo, Mexico.

Woman keeping vigil at ofrenda or altar dedicated to dead at candle-lit cemetery during the Night of the Dead (Noche de Muerto) night-time vigil at cemetery on Isla de Janitzio as part of longer Day of the Dead festivities, Lake P√°tzcuaro, P√°tzcuaro, Michoac√°n de Ocampo, Mexico. Fuji X-Pro II. 56mm (84mm. equiv.) ISO 3200. f/1.2 @ 1/240 sec.

 

Women and girl during the Night of the Dead (Noche de Muerto) night-time vigil at cemetery on Isla de Janitzio as part of longer Day of the Dead festivities, Lake P√°tzcuaro, P√°tzcuaro, Michoac√°n de Ocampo, Mexico.

Women and girl during the Night of the Dead (Noche de Muerto) night-time vigil at cemetery on Isla de Janitzio as part of longer Day of the Dead festivities, Lake P√°tzcuaro, P√°tzcuaro, Michoac√°n de Ocampo, Mexico. Fuji X-Pro II. 84mm. equiv. ISO 3200. f/1.2 @ 1/55 sec.

 

People bundled up during the Night of the Dead (Noche de Muerto) night-time vigil at cemetery on Isla de Janitzio as part of longer Day of the Dead festivities, Lake P√°tzcuaro, P√°tzcuaro, Michoac√°n de Ocampo, Mexico.

People bundled up during the Night of the Dead (Noche de Muerto) night-time vigil at cemetery on Isla de Janitzio as part of longer Day of the Dead festivities, Lake P√°tzcuaro, P√°tzcuaro, Michoac√°n de Ocampo, Mexico. Fuji X-Pro II. 90mm (135mm. equiv.) ISO 5000. f/2 @ 1/18 sec.

 

Woman in shawl amidst marigolds and small altar at cemetery during Day of the Dead on Isla de Janitzio, Lake P√°tzcuaro, P√°tzcuaro, Michoac√°n de Ocampo, Mexico.

Woman in shawl amidst marigolds and small altar at cemetery during Day of the Dead on Isla de Janitzio, Lake P√°tzcuaro, P√°tzcuaro, Michoac√°n de Ocampo, Mexico. Fuji X-Pro II. 35mm (53mm. equiv.) ISO 4000. f/4 @ 1/40 sec.