Yesterday was a day that defined why I wanted to take this trip. On our usual two-week vacations that are planned to the minute there's no room for spontaneity. On this trip we have planned next to nothing so we can stay longer in places we like and move on from those that don't suit us. We were meant to move to on to Honduras after our language classes finished but when we heard of the day of the dead celebrations in Santiago we knew we had to go.
Arriving we walked through blocks of people selling everything from colored chicks (??????!!?!??!?), to every imaginable food, to everything you'd never think to buy at a festival like DVDs and dish soap. It was already worth it to see all there was to purchase. But then we arrived at the cemetery. There were people already scattered throughout, kites already in the air, and some of the massive kites already raised. We were with a friend we met at lunch one day (a guy from Seattle!) and we set off exploring taking more photos in one day than we have our whole trip. The kites were beautiful, the people all dressed so nicely and sharing the day with their family; it is truly a celebration that doesn't exist anywhere else in the world and we were so lucky to take part in it.
Eric took some awesome photos of them raising the kites. Groups of around 100 guys would sprint all over (running on top of graves!) to help with each kite. A few broke in half but as we left to catch our bus they were being repaired. The party went into the night.
The food we saw was also incredible, new-to-us, huge pots and pans, and smelled incredible. We tasted what Matt suggested and we all thought safe, and thankfully we aren't sick yet!
The day ended with a special invitation to share fiambre (the traditional dish eaten on the Day of the Dead) with the owners of our favorite bar and restaurant in Antigua: Porque No?. After arriving back in Antigua we made our way to their friend's house to meet their friends and family over traditional shots of tequila. Carolina made this amazing fiambre for us. The dish had over 50 ingredients!! It was the perfect end to this special day.