To the moment, when a person conscious the frightening nature of knowing, he'll conscious that, death on this path — is our eternal companion, indispensable partner, that's always there. Death is the main factor, that turns knowledge into energy, a real force. Touch of Death ends all, and all, then she touched, becomes the power. (K. Castaneda)
The tradition of the festival has its roots in the Indian past inhabitants Mexico and other Latin American countries. This is family-friendly Festival, even small children take part in it.
These days (the same time, when Catholics celebrate Halloween – it is not by chance) According to legends of the Indians: Aztec, The Maya and the Tarascan (Purepecha), the souls of the dead can come back to their homes from Mixtlan – afterworld.
Now local residents are actively preparing to help their departed loved ones, to find their way home, millions of candles will burn during the holidays in the cemeteries. Also small arches of flowers-marigolds on the altars are made for the dead , so that they could enter from the dead to the living world.
Offerings to the dead
As in many rituals, people put offerings to the guests from the afterworld on the altar next to the photo of the deceased: water – as a symbol of life, that families can quench their thirst; decorate their homes and cemeteries with flowers and ribbons; prepare tamal – a traditional dish of cornmeal and different combinations of meat, cheeses, fruits and vegetables, wrapped in a banana leaf, as well and bake and bring bread on the altar of the dead – to give something, to eat; goodies, those who loved, often the sweets are made in the form of skulls, and all around the city you will find many symbols of death.
On the first day remember the dead children and bring on the altar of their favorite toys. This day, dedicated to babies and children called all those who died Dia De Angelitos – The Day of Angels.
On this day, family gathers together, prepare favorite dishes of the relatives who left and arrange funeral services, This is especially true if a relative died recently.
November, 2 - is a day, when the worship of all adults dead. During these two days, people visit the cemetery of relatives, picnics, dancing; waffles are sold all over the city, chocolates and decorations in the form of crucifixes, skulls; as symbols, You can see a lot of skeletons out of papier-mâché and “deadly” makeup on the faces of the locals. But the main message of this festival, however not Carnival (as in Halloween), but a serious tradition of veneration of the dead, in this way, dead people gain the immortality, until they are remembered by their living descendants and relatives.
Visitors clean, the graves of their relatives well, and adorn them with flowers and offerings, spend there all night.
For those, who goes to Mexico in the near future, it will be another nice addition to the trip.
And for those, who wants to break anywhere from rainy October, visit of this holiday season could be one of the incentives.
Mexico is also one of the points of our top “routes for backpackers”. A lot of useful information about Mexico you can read on Bptrip. Celebrations are held across the country, but the tradition is strong in the South of the country. In some cities, there are tours around the cemeteries and competitions for the best design of the altar are organized.
Carnivals and skeletons everywhere, It is worth to see, and bearing in mind the quote from Castaneda at the beginning of the article, enjoying quesadillas in one of the Mexican cities, You can think calmly about your attitude toward death. See you soon!