Day of the Dead, a Tradition Very Much Alive

Day of the Dead, a Tradition Very Much AliveMexico is a country rich in culture and traditions, one of the main aspects which builds up its identity as a nation is the understanding of the dead and all the beliefs that surround it.

The Day of the Dead is a celebration of Pre-Hispanic origin dated back from at least 3,000 years ago on November 1st. and 2nd. It was named by UNESCO an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in a ceremony in Paris, France on November 7th. 2003.

Among the most important components of this ritual of celebration are:

Sugar Skulls
These skull-shaped candies usually have written on the forehead the deceased’s name and are consumed by relatives or friends
La Catrina
A character created by José Guadalupe Posada in the early twentieth century, with it he criticized the Mexican-Indians who despised their heritage by imitating European women. He said that death is democratic, because in spite of people being blond, brown, rich or poor all people end up being a skull. That is how he represented the high society in the folklore of the dead.
Bread of the Dead
It has its origin at the time of the conquest of Mexico inspired by the Pre-Hispanic rituals, now in days is one of the most important components of the offerings dedicated to the faithful departed, for it symbolizes the human body.
Literary Calaveras
Satirical verses created by people to mock living politicians, artists, government officials, etc. Even death itself by mimicking epitaphs and narrating the death of their characters.
Altar of the Dead
An offering made to the deceased regularly adorned with multi colorful paper, marigold flowers, portraits of the deceased, the image of the souls in purgatory, candles, dirt cross, pumpkin and much more. If the altar is for children then toys are placed. Many of these altars are considered true works of art.

People stay up during the night at the grave waiting for the spirit of their dead to descend so he/she can enjoy of his offering. It’s just a matter of time, with joy and remembrance; crying or pain does not exist, because the friendly visit of the deceased is not a cause for sorrow. The exaggerated Mexican hospitality is proverbial which manifest at the slightest provocation.

Panteon Panteon Panteon Panteon

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