El Dia de Los Muertos

dia de los muertos_2

“Bury me, when I die, beneath a wine barrel, in a tavern. With luck, the cask will leak.” /Meriya Sen’an/

drawing by clinock.

Halloween is over but there’s another date on the calendar that has connections with the dead: El Dia de los Muertos.

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Now celebrated in countries around the world, Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” is a two-day holiday which originated in Mexico to remember deceased loved ones. It’s a Mexican national holiday and the country’s largest celebration of the year, but Dia de los Muertos extends well beyond to Guatemala, Brazil, Spain and Mexican-American communities in the United States and Canada.

The observance is Nov. 1 and 2, coinciding with the Catholic All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

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Dia de los Muertos can be traced back to the Aztecs who celebrated with a festival for the goddess of the underworld, Mictecacihuatl. The indigenous cultures of Mexico still honor the Lady of the Dead, the modern La Catrina.

400px-Catrinas_2

During this holiday, families gather to celebrate those who have died as well as build alters in their homes, schools or other public places to pay homage to the deceased.

450px-Traditional_Altar_for_the_Dead-Mexico

Many honor the dead with gifts of sugar skulls, chocolate, marigolds (the Mexican flower of death), sweetbreads and trinkets.

dia-de-los-muertos candy

Families also typically visit graves to deliver ofrendas, or “offerings,” and hold vigils with candles and photos.

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What is death? It is the glass of life broken into a 
thousand pieces, where the soul disperses like
perfume from a flask, into the silence of the eternal
night.

Unknown Author

Credit and thanks to:

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ Wikipedia /

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11 thoughts on “El Dia de Los Muertos

  1. My wife made a Day of the Dead alter (small shrine) in our front room. It’s a good way to remember family and friends who are no longer with us and to reflect upon ones roots.

  2. Perfect drawing for this rather morbid celebration, John. We also have similar “celebrations” here to honor the dead – remembrance days, but coming to grips with the phenomenon [!] of death is always hard…
    Have a great weekend, my friend.

    1. the thing about the Mexican celebration is that it is not manifested in morbidity or sadness – it really is a ‘celebration’ of life in the face of death where Death is seen as a surreal figure dancing amongst us – quite different than how the end of life is seen in north American or Anglo Saxon culture. The Greek culture is ancient as is the Aztec and I wonder how much of that historical influence still exists in your ‘remembrance days’? Thank you for your thoughts my friend…

      1. There are so many different traditions, in Greece, they can vary from one village to another. There are some villages that keep ancient Greek traditions alive, but in most places they have adjusted and are more Christian. I think that one way or another they all are a celebration of life, one way or another.

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