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Dia De Las Muertos





The Mexican fiesta of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, takes place over the first two days of November. It is a Catholic Christian ritual intermixed with folk culture, and going to mass is an essential aspect of this celebration.
Spanish conquistadors introduced
All Saints Day, Dia de Todos los Santos and All Souls Day, Dia de Todos las Almas, to Mexico. The conquered Native Americans took the opportunity to incorporate their own traditions for honouring the dead into these two days. The resulting holliday is a unique mixture of the two cultures. The fiesta includes spending time in cemetaries, making shrines to the dead, and displaying artistic skulls and skeletons.


However, the occasion is festive, rather than morbid. Death is not seen as the end of life in Mexico but as a natural part of the life cycle. The Day of the Dead fiesta is not only a chance to remember relatives and friends that have died but to celebrate their life and celebrate being alive. It is about Love not Fear and the fiesta incorporates lots of music, laughter and dancing.
Dia de los Muertos is not the Mexican version of Halloween. Mexicans have vcelebrated the Day of the Dead since the year 1800 B.C.
Whilst
Day of the Dead and Halloween are both associated with All Saints and All Souls Days, their tones could not be more different. The Halloween images of skeletons and spirits emphasize the spooky, gruesome, and macabre. On the Day of the Dead, the focus is not on threatening spooks and ghouls, it is on celebrating with family, alive and dead, and remembering those who are no longer alive. It is on seeing death as another stage following life, not something to be faced with fear.
It is not a strange ritual. It is very similar to going to a grave and leaving flowers or stuffed animals, or lighting a candle to remember the deceased. It is not a sad ritual. It is a day of happiness because they are remembering loved ones.
Ofrendas are an essential part of the Day of the Dead celebrations.The word ofrenda means offering in Spanish. The ofrenda is set on a table, covered with a fine tablecloth, preferably white. The the papel picado, cut tissue paper, is set over the cloth.
Food is specially prepared for the souls. Their preferred dishes are cooked for them and placed on the altar with items representing the four elements. There are candles for fire, drinks for water, fruit for earth, and fluttering tissue paper decorations for air.

Sometines, a cross is made with petals of the
cempasuchil flower. Insence, Capal, is burned and is thought to elevate prayers to God.
The major feature of
Day of the Dead decorations is skeletons, esqueletos or calacas. Skeletons are everywhere, from tissue paper scenes to tiny plastic toys, from cardboard puppets to ceramic sculptures, from posters to papier mache. This skeleton theme extends to the food and treats for the day. The Day of the Dead feast typically includes a special bread of the dead, pan de muerto. It is often decorated with strips of dough resembling bones. Also common are skulls and skeletons made of sugar. Some school pupils get sugar skulls made to resemble themselves, or with their names inscribed on them.

Feliz Dia de los Muertos

Cuan Beo

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