Day of the Dead
(Día de los muertos)
Mexico is well known for the colorful decoration and this is a special day when they celebrate, pray and remember friends and family members who have died.
This celebration is on November 1st and 2nd. Many people believe that during the Day of the Dead, it is easier for the souls of the departed to visit the living. Sometimes it can take a humorous tone with poetry and funny photos. The colors that are often used in this celebration are orange, purple, yellow, white, black and red.
Mexican families make an altar. The altar consists at a minimum of a covered table with the offerings. It has candles because they are used to be a guide for the spirits. It is built in levels and you can put the favorite things of the spirit.
Mexican food varies by region, because of local climate and geography, but this day all the cities have something in common: typical food, beverages and things. For example:
Pan de Muerto: It’s sweet bread that is glazed and decorated with colored sugar.
Candied Pumpkin: Fresh pumpkin slices that are cooked in a piloncillo glaze.
Atole: It’s a hot cup of masa gruel and it’s used to warm the spirits when they return or when they leave.
Tamales: Cornmeal paste wrapped in corn and stuffed with chicken, pork or turkey.
Mole sauce: It’s a sauce served over a chicken and It’s made with the combination of chocolate, chilies and many spices.
Hot chocolate: served in little cups with candies.
A common symbol of the holiday is the skull (Calaveras) and Catrinas. Sugar skulls are gifts that can be given to both, the living and the dead.
Other decorative things are pictures of the dead person, papel picado or tissue paper cut-outs, wreaths, crosses and flowers.
Mexico has a lot of cultural celebrations and the Day of the Dead is something that binds us together as a family. It can be seen as a sad celebration or as an enthusiastic celebration.