Mayan Wisdom

The day of the dead celebration in Mexico

The Day of the Dead, which is celebrated on November 2, is one of the most significant Mexican traditions.

It is a date where the living prepare to receive their dead and live with them.

For ancient Mexicans, death was the beginning of a journey to the realm of the dead or the underworld. The ancient Mexicans believed that the destiny of the soul of the deceased was determined by the type of death they´d had and their behavior in life.

With the arrival of the Spanish, the celebration became mestizo and added new Catholic elements and meanings. The flower cross is the most significant of these elements.

November 1 is All Saints ‘Day and November 2 is All Souls’ Day. People pray and in some areas of the country they spend the night in the pantheons. At the end of the celebration, all the dishes and drinks of the offering are tasted.

The altar of the dead is a fundamental element in this celebration. It is believed that the spirit of the deceased returns from the world of the dead to live with the family that day and taste the food of the offering.

Offerings must contain a series of elements and symbols that invite the spirit to travel from the world of the dead to that of the living. In an almost indispensable way there should be images of the deceased, crosses, copal, confetti, candles and candles, water, flowers, food, bread, skulls and drinks to the taste of the deceased.

In the 20th century, the catrina, the skull woman created by the engraver José Guadalupe Posada, and the alebrijes, a craft made of cardboard and with vibrant colors that represent fantastic animals, were added.

In Jellyfish we have the Transformation lamp, which alludes to this tradition using the figure of a skull to remember the meaning and symbolism of this celebration.

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