Yesterday I uploaded the next video on my facebook page and I thought it could be a good idea to upload it also here on my blog just in case not all of you follow me on facebook. The thing is that my aunt Carmelita goes to the cemetery quite often to clean the grave of my grandfather. For her, it is obligatory to go there every 1st of November, AllSaints’ Day. Two years ago I went to the cemetery with her and my cousin to know a little bit more about this tradition that every year is followed by less people. Still some do it, mainly women of course. During our time there, my aunt was interviewed by a journalist in relation to this. I decided to add the subtitles in English because I think this video with my aunt is a jewel. Hope you enjoy it.
This year I went again to the cemetery with her and I don’t know from where she takes all the energy she has when walking all around. When she finishes with the grave of her father, my grandfather, then she goes to the graves of her parents in law, and then she continues her visit to the graves of her neighbor, friend, cousin, uncle and all her loved ones who are resting in peace. And it is not only a visit: she cleans the grave, she lays flowers for everybody, she talks with them, she prays… And at the end, she says “Ok, Penelope, now let’s do my tour”, and we continue walking around the enormous cemetery to see the most famous ones: bullfighters, flamenco dancers and singers or guitar players, painters, artists, architects, etc… In the walk we specially like to admire the graves of gypsy people because they are the most beautifully decorated. Even more, the complete family goes to the cemetery and stay at the grave all day long, until the sunset. They bring drinks and food to have lunch together, and if it is a very hot day they open beach umbrellas to have some shade.
Every 1st of November, the cemetery is extremely beautiful, with colorful flowers all around. Apart from that, it is very impressive to see a lot of women cleaning all the graves. I think for them it is a way to take care of their family. Like my aunt who, very moved, says in the video this is the way of taking care of her father as she did before he died.
It is not only a tradition, it is also the way people feel the death, as a step from life to other kind of life, specially women, who are always in charge of the family… forever.
Are you visiting Andalusia? Maybe I can help you to organize your trip or I can be your guide. Penelope