Skeletons: Skeleton imagery pervades this holiday. In pre-Columbian times, the Day of the Dead was celebrated in August. It now takes place on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, coinciding with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.
Credit Karen Castillo FarfÃ¡n / NPR
Credit Karen Castillo Farfán / NPR
Altar: Altars are used to welcome the ancestors' spirits into the home. It is also practice to visit the ancestral burial ground to celebrate with picnics and music.
Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 3:19 pm
Sugar skulls, tamales, and spirits (the alcoholic kind) — these are things you might find on homemade altars to entice those who've passed to the other side back for a visit. The altars, built in homes and around tombstones, are for Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, a tradition originating in central Mexico on Nov. 1 and 2.
The campaign calm after the storm is about to end.
Both President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will be out stumping for votes today. The race for the White House, which was just about put on hold as Superstorm Sandy bore down on the East Coast and then roared ashore, is back on with just five days to go before Election Day.
Romney will be in Virginia. The president will be in Wisconsin, Colorado and Nevada.
Abigael Evans, 4, of Fort Collins, Colo., started crying on the way to the grocery store as she and her mother listened to NPR in the car. NPR editors issued an immediate apology online, and later in the afternoon, Abbie cheered up when she got an NPR Politics pin from member station KUNC.
On the first of November, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Portions of the New York subway system are up and running again after being shut down for three days after Superstorm Sandy. There is, of course, a giant hole in the middle of the system. The lines stop short of Lower Manhattan, where many tunnels and stations flooded.
The battleground state of Wisconsin has a higher percentage of older voters than the national average. Recently, it's also had a volatile political history, including an effort to recall the governor. Older voters at the Middleton Senior Center discuss their experiences and the issues driving their decisions now.
If there is any political effect from a Republican governor touring his state with a Democratic president, it may simply be this: three entire days have passed in which politicians finally failed to turn a major national issue into a full-blown depressing partisan fight. As the two men did their jobs, of course, the political debate did continue about disasters and everything else - as you'd understand. It is election time. Republican Mitt Romney resumed campaigning yesterday in Florida. Here's NPR's Ari Shapiro.
On Wednesday, President Obama toured some of the hardest-hit parts of New Jersey, along with Republican Gov. Chris Christie. The two have become a political odd couple since the storm — each offering praise for the other's leadership.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
With all of the storm damage from Sandy, people are already beginning to wonder who is going to pay for all of this. Over the coming days, tens of thousands of homeowners will be calling up their insurance companies. They will file billions of dollars in claims. Robert Smith from our Planet Money team takes us to one devastated neighborhood in Queens, New York, where residents are already struggling with how to rebuild.
In Stamford, Conn., many people who usually work in the city are trying to make a go of it from where they are. That means going to a synagogue to charge your cellphone and get work done, or having breakfast at a diner to warm up.
Steve Inskeep speaks with Malcolm Bowman, head of the Storm Surge Research Group at Stony Brook University on Long Island, about flooding from Sandy, and the possibility of creating storm barriers around New York.
Bit by bit, New York is starting to move again. On Wednesday, bridges opened, buses returned, and so did gridlock. The city is trying to get people back on subways Thursday. Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep speak with NPR's Greg Allen, Mike Pesca and Margot Adler, who join in the commute.
Though Superstorm Sandy destroyed much in its path, it did apparently build at least one bridge, that of bipartisanship between President Obama and New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie.
Christie, a strong ally of Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee, and a key critic of the president before the storm, has had little but praise for Obama for the assistance provided to New Jersey leading into the epic storm, which hit this week.