Day Of The Dead, A Few Nuggets of Knowledge
You may have heard about this interesting cultural celebration called Day of the Dead that is gaining steam in the USA, and yet many people don’t seem to grasp the long-standing historical context from where it comes. So we figured we would add to the narrative with this blog entry, the intent to help give understanding and some clarity to an interesting cultural happening. At least, we hope that by the time you finish reading this article that we successfully provided you with nuggets of knowledge that you can wow your friends with. After all its hip to know things outside of your comfort zone, especially with such a long-standing cultural tradition, So read on and learn something new that you can whip out in conversation while drinking that savory imported Modelo beer with your amigos.
Ok, so it’s not all about the Calaveras, even though they are supper cool on t-shirts and skateboard graphics and tattoos. And especially no, it’s not about flying witches on broomsticks late into the night, although sometimes family are just as scary, and especially no, it’s not about kids knocking at your door singing that famous line “trick or treat” we don’t need people smelling your feet and giving you something good to eat.
Simply stated, Día de Los muertos, celebrates life by honoring our family and relatives that have passed before us, yes you got it, we celebrate the dead. It may seem strange, however on this special day, in many latino countries and communities we don’t just remember them we celebrate them. We celebrate with drink, food, stories, photos, candles, sweets, flowers and music making up only a few of the elements of this day. We strongly recommend adding this day to your bucket list, by attending a traditional procession in a small rustic town in Mexico, walking down the stone and dust ridden streets towards the pantion (cemetery) with flowers and candles ready to adorn the gravesite. It’s a spectacle to see and an honor to take part in.
In our humble estimation, Dia De Los Muertos is one of the most important traditions in Latino culture, and should be in any culture. It intends to make the deceased welcomed back among the living, although we believe, it truly makes the living remember that life is special. Very personal offerings are introduced through the building up of alters, as if to bring families back together if only for a time. This tradition is celebrated at home, at cemeteries and most recently at festivals. A particular flower called cempasúchil, an orange-yellow flower fills the cemeteries with huge meaning as it is the marks the path that guides the deceased on their way back to their families.
This day has a ton of symbolism, meanings and interpretations that we will discover together throughout the next few blog entries. Get ready to play with life and celebrate the dead with the guided ability of the cempasúchil flower clearing the path to understanding culture and traditions that we love bringing to you every year.