Dia de los Muertos - Day 2+3 - Tzintzuntzan, Mexico

After 36 hours of shooting - here are some of my favorites from the all-night Day of the Dead festivities. I plan to use these photos in my upcoming feature piece "Past the Masks: An In-Depth Look at the Authentic Dia de los Muertos Celebration." 

It will examine the modern-day representation of the holiday in media+pop culture - and how that has subliminally altered the foreign perception of the festival, and in many ways, how it is celebrated locally today. || While my time there was limited, it was a true honor documenting this incredible tradition. A tradition surrounding family, honoring the deceased, and respecting your elders - not masks and parades. Stay tuned for the article:

Dia de los Muertos - Day 1 - Patzcuaro, Mexico

Day 1: Patzcuaro, is a historic town founded in the 1300's, known for its traditional Dia de los Muertos celebration. Last night preparations were well underway for the start of the festival this afternoon. As children ran through the streets trick 'r' treating, alters were assembled in the town square - each representing a community nearby. 

The alter serves as a portal for the dead to enter the world of the living during the next two days. These memorials are quite expansive - consisting of wooden frames, thousands of marigold flowers, and offerings for the communities' loved ones. || The three shelves of food represent heaven, earth, and the underworld. The cross of salt at the base helps purify the souls as they cross over. The path of candles+marigolds help to guide the souls with their bright color and strong scent. || Tonight, families will surround the alters and spend all night dining with their deceased loved ones.