Monday, November 26, 2012

Day Of The Dead In Mexico

El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), is a popular Mexican day of remembrance, which is a day to celebrate those that have passed on.  To remember those departed the observers usually fix special foods, decorate graves and tombs with colorful papel picado , bring flowers to the dead, leave them candy, too and use a lot skeletons and skulls to denote the day, and in some areas they have festive parades.  Most of those that follow this tradition believe that the ghosts of their deceased loved ones visit their families on October 31 and leave on November 2.
In order to commemorate the day, families make altars and place their offerings of favorite foods, including the sweet bread called, Bread for the Dead, (pan de muertos), which is often formed in the shapes of skulls, on these altars or at the grave site.  They also use figures of death, candles, incense, yellow marigolds known as cempazuchitl and most meaningfully,a photo of the departed individual is placed on the altar, along with a ‘photo,’ of Jesus. 

It might appear to be gruesome, but many Mexicans answer death with mourning and with delight and pleasure.  They glare at death with the same apprehension as any other society, however there is a distinction.  They expose their fright by disdainful and existing alongside mortality even if only for a few days each year.  Death is evident in everyday life.  It is in art, stories and even in children's toys.  Children often play funeral with toys that correspond to coffins and undertakers.
In Mexico, you might hear someone say, "La muerte es flaca y no puede conmigo."  Which means, "Death is weak and she can't take me."  Sadly, this is a funny derision toward death, but she will get us all, sooner or later.  

"All the days ordained for me
were written in Your book
before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16

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