Saturday, November 2, 2013

Día de los Muertos.

The Day of the Dead is a three day festival in which Mexicans celebrate and honor the lives of loved ones with themes birthed through hundreds of years of 
Mexican heritage and culture. 

 Indigenous Mexicans believed that death was the passage to a new life, thus their dead were buried with objects that would be needed after death. Often times, this even included the sacrifice of a pet, so the animal could join their masters on their journey. 

These ancient cultural traditions shaped much of how Día de los Muertos is celebrated today. Ofrendas are erected, inviting angelitos (spirits of dead children) and adult spirits 
to reenter the mortal world to visit. 

Ofrendas are typically characterized by elaborate decorations of skulls and sugar skulls, 
candles, incense, cempasuchil flowers, favorite food and drinks, 
and toys to entice the deceased to return. Each of these items are each carefully arranged around a photo or a series of photos of the beloved.

 Elaborate costumes and skeleton face paintings are common during the festivities. Celebrations vary from town to town, but often include parties, dancing, music, food and drink specific to the holiday, and candle lighting ceremonies. It is believed that this one time of the year, the dead are also part of the community, awakened from eternal sleep to share in celebrations with their loved ones.  

You won't see mourning and sadness on Día de los Muertos. The purpose of the holiday is to celebrate and express joy in the remembrance of the deceased so as not to insult the dead. 

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