Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Día de Muertos

Did you see Google's Doodle today? (At least here in Mexico) It's a representation of a traditional Mexican altar or offering for Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Google Doodle on Nov. 2, 2011
November 1st and 2nd are very important in Mexico, mixing Catholic and pre-hispanic traditions to honor and "reunite" with those who have passed away. (Though Halloween has managed to work its way into the mix as well these days). November 1st is All Saints' Day for children who have passed away and November 2 is Día de Muertos/ Day of the Dead or All Souls' Day for adults who have passed away. It is believed that on these days, the souls are allowed back to Earth to visit with the family.

Altars or offerings are set up in homes, churches, schools, etc. They typically include a photo of the person the altar/offering is for (so that the souls can recognize themselves and know where to go), candles and orange marigolds (which are/represent light so that the soul can find its way), flowers or something a purple-ish color (that represents mourning), and favorites foods and drinks of the person. The belief is that the soul cannot taste or consume these items, but can enjoy the aroma -- so the stronger the aroma the better.

Read more about Día de Muertos at and All About Puebla (a great blog about Puebla by a fellow gringa).

You can also visit my posts from last years' Día de Muertos at the UNAM, in the Zócalo, in Coyoacan and in Mixquic.

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