Monday, November 1, 2010

Day of the Dead

Skeletons and skulls are not scary; it's a celebration of life.

Day of the Dead is an important traditional holiday celebrated
in many parts of Mexico on November 1st and 2nd.

Less like Halloween and more like Memorial Day, Day of the Dead is a time when families remember loved ones who have died.
Just as we place flowers or flags on graves,
people honor their deceased relatives with altars, special offerings and prayer.

Ornately decorated altars are set up in homes and businesses. Often the altars will have a path for the loved one to easily find the way
"home" with a trail of marigold flowers.


Papel Picado, used as a decoration on altars and homes,
is tissue paper that has been cut using chisels and special designs.
Sometimes up to 40 banners are carefully cut at once!


Paper Mache figures imitate real life and are funny and satirical.


Altars and arches are prepared for loved ones who have died. Candles, flowers, and food are some of the most typical decorations found on an altar.


How would you like to receive one of these dazzling hand decorated sugar skulls as a gift? Many bakeries will personalize the skull with the name of your choice while you wait.


Local markets burst with color from the marigolds,
called cempachucil, used to decorate altars and arches.


For weeks prior to Day of the Dead celebrataions, local bakeries fill their shelves with
Pan de Muertos
, bread of the dead.
The sweet, doughy bread is only made during this time of the year.



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1 comment:

  1. What beautiful photographs! Love the whimsical skeletal musicians!

    Thanks for sharing the culture of the beautiful part of Mexico!



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