Culture Heritage Learning

Day of the Dead

unnamedThe 1st & 2nd November are the Days of the Dead or El Día de los Muertos, the annual festival in Mexico where families remember the dead. It is believed the souls of the departed return to the land of the living.

09310693The festival dates back to the Aztec civilization, Mexican Indian cultural roots have survived and combined with the Christian tradition of All Souls Day.

Traditions include building altars, or ofrenda, in the home to honor the deceased.  The mood of the festival is that of joy and celebration when family and friends gather to remember and bring offerings.

00981905People clean their houses and prepare the favourite dishes of the deceased to place upon their altar or visit their graves with marigolds and candles.

09310697Even the foods, sweets and breads are moulded to look like the decorated skeleton of death, “La Calavera” and red devils are depicted happily cavorting. However these traditions are not universal and often vary from town to town.

Images © The British Museum, National Museums Scotland, J.Sangster  | Licensor Scran

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