Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Todos los Santos/ All Saints Day

In Colombia, as in many Catholic nations, Todos los Santos or All Saints Day is the time to visit cemeteries and pay homage to the dead. Naturally, Bogotá's Central Cemetery was crowded and colorful.

Saint Peter overlooks the cemetery's main entrance. 

 Visitors light candles for the dead.
 Many bogotanos believe that this elaborate tomb near the cemetery's entrance holds spirits with magical powers. 
 Distributing flowers on tombs. 
 One of the most famous tombs is that of Luis Carlos Galan , a presidential candidate assassinated in 1989 by cocaine king Pablo Escobar.
Leo Siegfried Kopp, founder of the Bavaria beer brewery, was good to his workers, and many Colombians consider him a saint (even though he was Jewish). On All Saints Day, dozens lined up to whisper in his ear and ask Sr. Kopp for favors. 
Many of the tombs in niches on the cemetery's wall are actually rented, and only for four or five years!
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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