DAY OF THE DEAD
Mexico is one of those magical, warm places where its people embrace you, they adopt you, land of gods, where death is a journey, not the end. It is the beginning of a new stage; where our dead return to the earth to coexist with the family, and to comfort us for the loss, letting us know that they watch over us from the sky, the underworld, or wherever they may be. Those days we tribute them, we remember them, we recharge them of energy, and they fill us with light, we cook for them, feed them and toast them. On that day our souls become real; the two worlds, the earth and the sky become one.
The day of the dead is an ancient tradition with Aztec, Celtic and Catholic traditions. After the Spanish Conquest, the ancient Aztec prehispanic beliefs were incorporated by the Catholic Church into their religious calendar and were held from the night of October 31, November 1 and November 2, or only November 1 and 2, of the month is commemorated the “All Saints’ Day”, especially dedicated to children, and the 2nd of the month to the rest of the loved ones deceased.
An altar represents an offering, a tribute to our dead ones. There are three types of altars:
1.- Two levels representing the sky and the earth.
2.-Three levels, representing the sky, the earth and the underworld.
3.-Seven levels that are all levels that crosses the soul to reach rest and spiritual peace.
BREAD OF DEAD
It originated in the pre-Hispanic cultures until taking the form that we know when the Spanish arrived, it refers mainly to the human sacrifices that the Aztecs realized when they offered a princess to the gods. Subsequently his heart was inserted in a pot with amaranth and then they will bite it aspart of being grateful. The Spanish changed this practice by making a heart-shaped wheat bread dipped in sugar.
Sugar skulls are a Day of the Dead tradition and are believed to be one of the favorite foods of the spirits of the deceased. These are gifts that are placed on the altars and symbolize the life after death.
Diego Rivera was the creator of La Catrina as we now know it, a form of criticism of the Mexican aristocracy who painted a skull dressed in his mural “A Sunday afternoon dream in the Alameda Central.” Prior to Rivera, Jose Guadalupe Posada criticized the so-called garbanceros, people of indigenous blood who claimed to be European, in an engraving known as “La Calavera Garbancera”, the predecessor to La Catrina. The skull had no clothes, but she wore a hat and criticized the lifestyle of the time.
The literary calaveritas are typical of day of the dead, these are verses and rhymes that make fun of the death.
By Ivonne Benitez