Juárez readies cemeteries for Día de Muertos

Juárez city workers do cleanup work Tuesday at Panteón Colinas cemetery in preparation for the Día de Muertos events Nov. 1-2. (Photo courtesy city of Juárez)

City asks residents to help with preparations

Rio Grande Digital

The city public maintenance department in Juárez started work Tuesday cleaning the Panteón Colinas cemetery in

A Juárez city worker cleans a city cemetery on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy city of Juárez.)

preparation for this year’s Day of the Dead — or Día de Muertos — observance. Cleanup and preparations in the panteón de la Chaveña began last week.

Day of the dead is a national holiday in Mexico, taking place each year on Nov. 1 and 2. Families decorate graves with flowers, candles and items that had significance in the lives of the loved ones.

Families often bring toys for dead children and bottles of tequila to place on the graves of adults. They may bring mariachi bands to provide music while they sit next to graves on picnic blankets and eat the favorite food of their loved ones. It is one of Mexico’s most beloved holidays. Mariachi bands also roam the cemeteries during the holiday to perform songs on request.

City officials said the work included cleanup of trash and weeds, arrangement of grave markers and removal of dried flowers and graffiti.

City crews are striving to have the cemeteries in tip-top shape so that families can enjoy the days of remembrance instead of doing cleanup and maintenance on their own, according to a city news release.

Crews also are mapping the cemeteries and creating a database of all the graves locations in case family members cannot remember where their loved ones are buried.

The city also is calling on families to pitch ion and help with the advance preparations and do any maintenance required on grave markers or decorations, according to the news release.

Next week, crews will get to work in panteón San Rafael cemetery, where the Catholic bishop will celebrate a special Mass on Nov. 2.

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