Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Dia de los Muertos


 "This celebration traditionally starts at midnight the night of Oct. 31, and the festivities are abundant in images related to death .. not the over the top variety of Halloween costumes and decorations.
  Halloween and Dia de los Muertos have different origins, and their attitudes toward death are very different: In the typical Halloween festivities, death is something to be feared. But in el día de los muertos, death — or at least the memories of those who have died — is something to be celebrated.El día de los muertos, which continues until Nov. 2, has become one of the biggest holidays in Mexico, and celebrations are becoming more common in areas of the United States with a large Hispanic population. Its origins are distinctly Mexican: During the time of the Aztecs, a month long summer celebration was overseen by the goddess Mictecacihuatl, the Lady of the Dead. After the Aztecs were conquered by Spain and Catholicism became the dominant religion, the customs became intertwined with the Christian commemoration of All Saints' Day on Nov. 1.
Specifics of the celebration vary with region, but one of the most common customs is the making of elaborate altars to welcome departed spirits home. Vigils are held, and families often go to cemeteries to fix up the graves of their departed relatives. Festivities also frequently include traditional foods such as pan de muerto (bread of the dead), which can conceal a miniature skeleton."

This is the most to the point explanation of a "holiday" I knew very little about ..
I knew that November 1st was "All Saints Day" and I have to admit I don't know anything really of that.
This tradition however caught my attention and appreciation because of the attitude towards death and the dead .. it isn't fear related or generated at all, but a true celebration .. it struck me very odd at first and then it seemed to make sense .. stop fearing something that is going to happen no matter what we do .. that it is part of nature.
We don't have to make sense and be logical or scientific .. just appreciate nature in all of it's cycles.
If you can't .... just tell yourself ... "shit happens ...."     wink wink

12 comments:

sharon said...

I was in Mexicofor dayof the dead one time....sugar skulls...what a great memory

Heather said...

Wow Joy... fantastic header for the occasion! Very interesting write up. It's funny because for our culture, death has always been a type of mourning, dressing in black, and all manners of sadness... however, I have noticed over the last few years that this has been changing and we are now beginning to celebrate someone's life as opposed to their death... funeral scenes are decorated with all manners of love of the departed, and celebrations include get togethers, parties and the likes... definitely a switch after so many years... I guess we should have taken lessons from the Mexican culture before! Love the cake too! Hugs.

Jennifer said...

Hi Joy, Hope you had a nice Halloween celebration. We live in a semi-rural patch of land on the outskirts of Brampton, so we don't get a lot of kids coming to the door each Halloween. This year the rain seemed to keep even those few kids away. We had no one!!! It was kind of disappointing really. I love seeing kids in costume, especially the little ones.
I love the cake with the Mexican style skull. This stylized type of skull always make death a little bit more friendly looking.

Darla said...

wink, wink back atcha'. I think it's just the fear of the unknown we humans don't like....hope you are well!

GRACE PETERSON said...

That's right. Shit happens. I like the idea of removing fear from death. I also like the idea of honoring the dead with remembrances.

Thank you for sharing this, Joy Dear. I hope you had a wonderful Halloween too. Mine was fairly uneventful and my black cat didn't suffer anything traumatic so it's all good. :)

Miss Kodee said...

Very interesting. That is an interesting twist put on death and not fearing what is inevitable. Your cake looks good!

Lona said...

What a wonderful decorated cake. Scary even. LOL! I would enjoy cutting its face all into serving size pieces. LOL! Morbid am I? LOL!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Joy, very interesting traditions and that cake is great. I'm afraid I have eaten too much Halloween candy again. I just seem to buy what I like!

Eileen

Marguerite said...

That is one fancy and slightly creepy looking cake. I've heard a bit about Day of the Dead but I like the idea that death isn't to be feared. As you say, it's part of nature.

Rose said...

My friend, a high school Spanish teacher, always celebrated this day with her classes. I always thought it was a bit morbid until I learned more about the celebration; in many ways, it's not much different from All Saints' Day and a way of honoring those loved ones who have passed on. Thanks for sharing, Joy!

Cat said...

Beautiful

Skeeter said...

Most interesting. Nov 1 is a holiday in Germany called All Saints Day. They were becoming influenced by the large American population about Halloween though. Now that the Americans (militery) are moving out, I wonder if they will continue the costume thing? But they do have Fasching or their version of Mardi Gras..... Did you see my Scarecrows from the Atlanta Botanical gardens on Oct 30? Check them out as I am sure they will put a smile on your sweet face.... http://tinaramsey.blogspot.com/2012/10/atlanta-scarecrows.html#comment-form