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Cartel Cempoalxochitl.jpg
Naranja Cempoalxochitl. Dibujo tecnica mixta con transfer, cempasuchil y pastel sobre pape


Pétalos de oro-marigold petals

Ritual de vida,  rayos de sol, 

alas de mariposa, flor de muerto

“Of all the flower species associated with the Mexican tradition of Days of the Dead such as: the velvet flower or Cockscomb, the moradita, baby’s breath, guietujul and biruxi’ (little rose and wild flowers in Zapotec), evergreen and even the white gladiolas, the marigold is iconic of the festivity of dia de muertos or Days of the Dead.

Cempoalxóchitl, signifies in Nahuatl, twenty flower or flower of twenty petals, it is the name I give to this series of works. It is the queen of the days of the Dead, as I see it, the one in the heart of Xochipilli Lord of flowers. By the end of October, we Mexicans say that “it is beginning to smell of muertos”, the Monarch butterflies are arriving to their origins, the evergreen forest of Angangueo, Michoacan, the black copal incense scents the market places and, all of Mexico is painted in Marigold orange.

Cempoalxochitl represents life born from death, evoking the dual concept of life/ death in ancient Mexico. Its ethereal yellow and orange petals, allude to the fragile wings of a butterfly and in its corolla, lies the warmth of sunrays and the light that illuminates the path of the recent departed souls in their transit to the sea of eternal life.

Popular belief, tells us that on the feast of Days of the Dead, each marigold seeks its departed soul and evoking the sun, illuminates his/her path, opens its petals, flies in the wind, draws, dances and faithful to the ritual calendar, year after year, it gives life to death.

There, where the mockingbird sings in 400 voices and water chocolate comes with flowers, the migrant butterflies always return while the souls of the departed also return to enjoy life’s colors and flavors, and share some moments in the world of the living. And so, every year, where life and death are interwoven by the river’s edge, and illuminated by Cempoalxochitl marigold, begins the feast and ritual of All Saints Day or Xantolo. 

Acercamiento- Tzompantli con flores de m

- Anonymous


There is a strong yellow smell and a copal black one

bread of the dead, candles,

mole and water,

marigold flowers,

and reds and purples

velvet skin,

on the altar

- Anonymous


Flower for the dead, radiate life,
guide souls like the sun,
seduce them with your perfume,
call them your color.

Lead them to their ofrenda,
your yellow is destiny. 
Twenty flowers, light, path,
leafless, be the way. 

Shepherd of the deceased
that shines on my bed,
take me into your flock
and fade by my side.

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