What has the Day of the Dead been like at the National Cemetery?
On November 2 of each year, the Dominican Republic commemorates the Day of the Faithful Departed or Day of the Dead, a tradition that has its origin in Mexican customs.
Every year, Dominican families visit the tombs or niches in which their relatives are buried, a date that generates dynamism in the towns and within the cemeteries.
However, in a visit made by this newspaper, it was observed that the atmosphere at the Máximo Gómez National Cemetery during the commemoration of the Day of the Dead was characterized by a low presence of people and a notable decrease in the sale of flowers and candles.
Flower sellers approached, complained about the few sales they have had on the occasion of the date, and described the state of sales as “cold.”
One of the sellers said that sales have been “weak,” even though the cost of flowers is around RD $ 75.00 per unit or color.
They assure that an arrangement on the Day of the Dead, depending on the size, is around RD $ 350.00 to RD $ 3,000.00.
The Máximo Gómez National Cemetery is located on the avenue of the same name and is under the National District City Council (ADN). Other cemeteries such as Christ the Redeemer, Independence, Christ the King are also run by the same municipal entity.
Flow of people
In addition to the timidity in sales, another notable aspect in this Day of the Dead is the slight presence of people who visit the graves of family and friends.
Antonio Santos, one of the people who provide maintenance to this facility, said, “This is down, there is no crowd, it seems like any other day.”
“Because of the pandemic and the situation as well,” Santos said, referring to the reasons he understands have caused the low presence of relatives of the deceased.
The Day of the Faithful Departed or Day of the Dead begins in the times of Christianity. Their memories were honored, and prayers, sacrifices were offered for the understanding that a deceased person can no longer do anything, while the living can do all kinds of deeds to help them reach their salvation.
These types of prayers are called Suffrages, among which the best is described as the Holy Mass.