Sellers say the flower trade for Day of the Dead is not as good as other years
Maria and her sister Rosa Medina are loaded with cempasuchil flowers to put on the altar of her house in Los Angeles, where they will honor her mother who died six years ago in Mexico.
“Since she left, we put an altar in the house to remember her. Now we are going to make it bigger and we look for the most beautiful flowers, ”says María, originally from Guanajuato who plans to leave the altar set for at least 15 days. To decorate his offering, he bought several bouquets of cempasúchil, lTraditional Day of the Dead flowers.
Rosa says that these days when Mexico celebrates its deceased, when she sets up the altar dedicated to her mother, it's like they had a little piece of it.
Like many families, María and Rosa go to the flower market in downtown Los Angeles to stock up on the flowers they will need for their offering dedicated to their dead or to take them to the grave in the Angelic Pantheons where they have their loved ones buried.
Martha Jiménez, a flower seller for five years, says that a week ago they started selling dead flowers.
“Sales are very slow because of the economy. It is no longer sold like other years. Last year, you could barely walk on the sidewalks of so many people buying dead flowers, ”he says.
And he reveals that they sold a lot because of the Coco movie that made the whole day of the Dead tradition known in Mexico. "This year we no longer have Coco to boost our sales," he says while making floral arrangements.
The flowers that are most requested during the celebration to honor friends and family who have left, are the cempasúchil, owners of an intense orange color; and velvet or lattice, which some know as lion's hand and that has a strong purple color. Although there are white.
In addition to the cempasúchil or velvet, people buy crosses and crowns of flowers that hang in the mausoleums where the remains of their loved ones rest.
Josefina Bernal, originally from Michoacán, carries two bouquets of flowers for her deceased sister and daughter, who she goes to see the pantheon.
“My daughter died 30 years ago when I was 19 in a car accident; and my sister about ten years ago, ”says this mother who emigrated 50 years ago to the United States.
"I spent about $ 25 on flowers, but I always meet my dead. It is a tradition that I brought from Mexico and I don't forget. In my house I also put an altar to my sister and my daughter ”, talk.
The brothers José and Josefina Álvarez, immigrants from Michoacán, Mexico do not forget to honor their dead, especially their mother Eloísa Ortiz and her brother Marcelino Álvarez.
“We go to the pantheon every eight days. His memory is always with us, but this is a very special date. We are faithful to tradition every year; and right now we go to the pantheon to bring their flowers for the Day of the Dead, ”says Josefina.
Margarita Pérez is 73 years old and for ten years she has had a flower stand in the flower market.
“There goes the sales, slow! They are a bit regular. Not like before, but they go. The economy is very bad; and there is a lot of competition, ”says this grandmother, originally from Tlaxcala, Mexico, who works from 5 in the morning until six in the afternoon to sell flowers.
"In this season, those who come to buy flowers for their dead are Mexicans," he says.
It is the first time that Ana Ortiz is going to put an altar of the dead in her house. That's why he went to the Los Angeles flower market to buy cempasúchils and velvets.
“I feel that I need to do it for my uncles and my parents who have already left; and many family and friends have asked me about the meaning of the Day of the Dead and the altars. I want to teach them, ”says Ana, born in Los Angeles, but the daughter of Mexican parents.
For her, the celebration of the deceased is a date to remember them and live with their souls with food, flowers and the things they liked.