Día de los Muertos, All Souls Day, November 2

An important date

When we remember our lost relatives, visit cemeteries, or simply attend church in rememberance.

This year we have 3 new SLOWLY stamps for this date, one each from México and Guatemala, plus a very pretty Global issue. Today's post has research on all of those.


November 2 is the All Souls Day, or Day of the Dead in many cultures.

From Wikipedia :

All Souls' Day, also known as the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed and the Day of the Dead, is a day of prayer and remembrance for the souls of those who have died, which is observed by Roman Catholics and other Christian denominations annually on November 2. All Souls' Day is often celebrated in Western Christianity; Saturday of Souls is a related tradition more frequently observed in Eastern Christianity. Practitioners of All Souls' Day traditions often remember deceased loved ones in various ways on the day.[3][4] Beliefs and practices associated with All Souls' Day vary widely among Christian denominations. “

And this year we get two new regional stamps from SLOWLY commemorating it.

Mexico's La Calavera :

And here I learned a lot about the Mexican Día de los Muertos from an in-depth article at National Geographic – very short quote :

“Everywhere you look on the streets during Day of the Dead celebrations across Latin America, a familiar face looks back. A face that juxtaposes the macabre and the elegant, it's in the makeup on children's faces, the elaborate dress of the women, in the celebratory 'bread of the dead' and in every shop window selling souvenirs and emblems of this uniquely atmospheric festival. 

This face has a definite aesthetic: a skull, wearing a much-embroidered bonnet resplendent with flowers. This is La Calavera Catrina – the ‘elegant skull’ – often simply La Catrina. And however superficially festive it may appear, La Catrina's presence throughout Mexico's Day of the Dead mythology makes a much deeper statement of mortality, destiny and the societal divisions of class. ”

The origin of an iconic image

This is a reduced size copy of the original image of a cartoon from 1910 that originated the later designs:

” The original cartoon of La Calavera Catrina, by Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada. It is thought to have been drawn around 1910, as the Mexican Revolution was gathering steam. “

Guatemala's Barriletes Gigantes :

This one I had never heard of, but a quick search and I found it's quite an impressive custom. From a nice CNN article here :

“Huge, colorful kites are soaring over the skies of Guatemala as hundreds of people gather in cemeteries to honor their dead.

This tradition, which takes place on the first and second of November of each year, is part of the All Saints’ Day celebrations in the neighboring towns of Santiago Sacatepequez and Sumpango.

Many countries worldwide mark the Christian festival with family gatherings and silent prayers. But Guatemala’s residents transform their country into a land of flying colors with their Barriletes Gigantes festival, which translates to “giant kites” in English.

Guatemala's Giant Kites

“Enormous kites, some more than 40 feet in diameter, are painted by hand throughout the year and flown over the graves of family members while flowers are strewn on the ground below. Festivalgoers share their favorites on social media.”

One of those was posted on Twitter :

And a DuckDuckGo image search found many nice photos too.

Or maybe watch a Video on YouTube?

We also get a beautiful SLOWLY Global issue

...which has the same date limit, Nov 2, and should be out soon now. But I haven't seen or heard of in the wild yet.

Will report if someone spots it...

Found it? Let us know, comment via a direct message to my Twitter account – or the Reddit one. Thank you!

EDIT : and about 5 am local time, October 30, this pretty stamp showed up in the North American Stamp Stores – both Canada and USA had it then. Thanks to Reddit's /u/Aurealie for reporting it.

Famous Last Words

Special Thank You to the folks behind this wonderful app — all the hard working people at Slowly Communications.

Letters we share, with pen pals all over the World, via the magic of the Slowly App. A modern day take in the traditional penpal experience.

Come and join us, if you are not yet using Slowly.

Follow Blog via your Fediverse/Mastodon account :


This page created entirely in MarkDown language. Thank you for reading, feel free to comment, via a direct message to my Twitter account – or the Reddit one.

You can also post a public comment in the Reddit thread for it here.

@yann2@koyu.space Top ▲