In Mexico, death is received with joy! Because it’s never good to mourn or suffer; that powerful moment is the only guarantee that we make our lives count before we leave this world.
Celebrate the Day of the Dead!
Popular cult mixes Christian traditions that arrived with the Spanish conquest and the pre-Hispanic customs and beliefs, both symbolized by the altars and offerings, the Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout Mexico.
Altars and Offerings
They place their colorful altars in the gardens and squares, churches, public buildings, some hotels, restaurants, banks and shops. At night, the cemetery acquired a still more solemn atmosphere than usual as they are visited by hundreds of people who, together, lit by hundreds of candles, raise their prayers to their loved ones in an atmosphere of yellow dyes.
Some cities organize festivals and cultural events and art exhibitions: drawings, photographs or making the best bread of the dead. Contests for costumes reward the best costume of La Catrina, the most famous representation of Her Majesty Death, born of imagination and a sense of humor by the Mexican engraver Jose Guadalupe Posada.
The offerings placed on the altars representing the four elements of nature: earth, represented by the fruits that nourish the spirits through their aroma; wind, represented by colorful and patterned tissue paper, as it lightly moves in the breeze; the water, placed in a container so that the souls who visit can quench their thirst after the long road to reach the altar; and finally the fire and candles, shining a for each soul remembered, and more for every forgotten soul.
Other elements that can be seen on the altars are the traditional bread of the dead, candles, skulls made of sugar, pumpkin candy, fruit, water, alcohol such as pulque, mezcal or tequila, a dish with salt, a cross with the four cardinal points for the soul to find its way, photographs, white flowers that are changed on 1 November for the yellow flowers called cempasúchitl (cempoalxochitl) and incense burners.
In the houses there is an altar like no other as each family remembers their loved ones in their own way, placing the objects and preparing the dishes they liked when they were alive. Also worth noting that in recent decades, the altars around the country have been composed of ornamental motifs from a Celtic festival, held primarily in the United States and known as Halloween.
Day of the Dead, October 28 and 30
In some parts of the country on October 28 is day for people who died from an accident and October 30 is the arrival of the souls of the limbs or children who died without having received baptism.
Day of the Dead, November 1
On November 1 is All Saints Day. The Vigil of the Little Angels is held and on this day on which the souls of children return to their families to be fed and to enjoy their company.
Day of the Dead, November 2
On November 2 is All Souls Day.
The Vigil of Adults is held and is a time when old souls are treated to a taste of their favorite foods when they were alive, they are accompanied by the scent of incense, the affection of loved ones , the music of their liking and offerings of the altar dedicated to them with such care.