Everything you need to know about Mexico’s Day of the Dead￼
In Mexico, the citizens annually celebrate an event called Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead. Despite its name, the festivities of the event are fun and lighthearted since the goal is to celebrate life and death. Additionally, here are the things you need to know about Dia de Los Muertos:
Thousands of years ago, the Aztecs and other natives of Mexico perceived life and death as two beautiful events that occur in one’s life. Instead of mourning, they believe that death should be celebrated, for it is a part of life rather than an ending. As such, people celebrate the memory of the dead during Dia de Los Muertos. This is the day that invites the dead to reunite with their loved ones on Earth.
The celebration process
Ofrenda is a Mexican version of the altar, and it serves as a welcoming gift to their dead relatives. So, everyone places food, water and other things that their relatives might like on the altars. The reason for this is that they believe that the dead have travelled long journeys before they reach the celebration day. That is why the food and water serve as refreshments to energize them for their next journey in the afterlife.
The marigold is the common flower used during Dia de Los Muertos. You will find a lot of these flowers adorning altars and the surroundings as well as the picture frames of the dead. Aside from that, people would create a path using marigold petals to guide their dead loved ones back to their homes.
During the early 20th century, political cartoonist Jose Guadalupe Posada drew a woman wearing fancy clothing and makeup as a satirical approach to say ‘todos somos calaveras’, which means everyone will be dead in the end and there is no use hiding your true self with something you are not.
As a result, this female drawing is now famously known as La Catrina, and she is the symbol of Dia de Los Muertos. Other than that, she also bears a resemblance to Mictecacihuatl, the Aztec goddess of death. This deity protects and guides the dead throughout their journey in the afterlife.
In Mexico, citizens would always conduct parades as part of celebrating their dead loved ones. Furthermore, everyone would paint their faces in the beautiful skull drawings, and they would wear fancy clothing for La Catrina. Additionally, these parades are usually held in the streets, and people will blast loud music from the speakers. They aim to make these two days lively so that their dead loved ones would also have a good time.
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