Cool Culture: Day of the Dead


Day of the dead is a Mexican holiday that is a mixture of both Pre-Hispanic & Catholic traditions. Day of the dead is actually broken up into 2 different parts:  All Saints Day (Nov 1) & All Souls Day(Nov 2) . On Nov 1  all children who have passed on are remembered.  A bigger celebration takes place on the second day.  There are lots of customs that go along with the celebration. On of the biggest & most important : the decorating of loved one’s graves with” flowers,  colorful festive adornments, candles, candies & treats. Also the person’s favorite food is prepared and offered to them. In the begining this was offered as a sign of help for the deceased so that they would be well prepared for the after life. Now a days it is a symbol of commemoration & celebration. It is used to remember who the person was &  the  life they lead. Beside the decoration of graves, some people build alters at home with the pictures of a loved ones & mementos. These alters are built with the same decorations &  material used for the graves.

Families spend long hours working on the graves & alters, some begin very early in the morning. All of it is  considered a work of art, because it shows : hard work, dedication, tradition, and creativity all in an effort to offer a good alter .  Another aspect of the celebration is: people spending the whole day visiting loved ones’ graves  & eat food they have taken to celebrate. This symbolizes that they still feel a connection with them & do not forget them or their presence. The basic meaning of this whole holiday is : We should never forget the beauty of life & celebrate it. We should rejoice that those who have passed away can rest in peace, and will always be in our hearts & in our lives.

Some towns hold parades in which people dress up like death, the meaning behind all this is not creepy or sad,  it’s happy & satirical. Also at these parades traditional folkloric music & dances are performed.

During these celebrations,  not just the two days, but rather a few weeks ahead Dia de Los Muertos products are sold: Toy skeletons, candies & bread are available.  You can buy a skeleton and have your name put on it, symbolizing you mocking your own death. Paper mache skeletons are a big part of the decorations & tradition.  Because this is a holiday about life rather then death, the skeletons are depicted as everyday people in everyday situations!

WHERE TO BUY DAY OF THE DEAD PRODUCTS:

CANDY SKULLS:http://www.mexgrocer.com/10069-7.html

PAN DE MUERTO(BREAD) : http://www.mexgrocer.com/10069.html

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LOL This guy looks funny just kicking back

THIS GUY LOOKS FUNNY JUST KICKING BACK

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DAY OF THE DEAD MAKE UP

LOL Her sign says  "Looking for a groom"

HER SIGN SAYS "LOOKING 4 A GROOM"

Dia De Los Muertos

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FRATERNITY CELEBRATES DAY OF THE DEAD BY HOLDING A MOCK FUNERAL

FRATERNITY CELEBRATES DAY OF THE DAY BY HOLDING A MOCK FUNERAL.


 

 

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DAY OF THE DEAD PRODUCTS

Pan De Muerto

This is traditional day of the dead bread, the little balls & sticks of bread on top  represnt bones

THIS IS WHAT TRADITIONAL "PAN de MUERTO" = The Dead's BREAD LOOKS LIKE

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Here's someone's take on "Pan de Muerto"

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Yet another "pan de muerto" rendition

LOL This supermarket went all out & made a whole day of the dead skeleton!

WOW! This supermarket went all out & made a whole day of the dead corpse!

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Candy Skulls

People at a parade pretending to morn

People pretending to morn at a Parade

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Cemetery on Day of the Dead

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