Expect a lot more photos from me in the following weeks, as this is my third time to celebrate Noche de Muertos (or, alternately known as Dia de Muertos, De de Los Muertos, Day of the Dead) and I LOVE IT.
Today I went to the Mercado Jamaica — Mexico City’s gargantuan flower market — to pick up some zempasúchitl (marigolds) and the brain coral-like flores de terciopelo (cockscombs?) Total cost: 30 pesos, or about $2.20. Check out this great photo slideshow to get an idea of show sprawling this mercado is.
When I got home, I made 5 bouquets from the two big bundles of flowers, including the centerpiece to my ofrenda, or altar:
You know you live in Mexico when you have spare calaveritas (mini sugar skulls) in the pantry, and whip them out for the altar.
Each marigold bloom is huge. I bought the type with more shredded like petals, but they have many varieties for sale. This weekend the flowers will bedeck altars, the cemeteries, and the entrances to peoples' homes, a way to welcome and guide back their dead loved ones.
I had two quesadillas at the mercado after buying my flowers. One had huitlacoche (corn fungus -- it's delicious!) and the other, continuing with the flower theme, was stuffed with squash blossoms.
These exquisite flores de terciopelo look great juxtaposed next to orange. Fuchsia and orange: so Mexican.
Of course, Halloween is popular here, too. Costumes and themed pinatas were for sale, like this witch, who waited on a bench while her owner had lunch.