Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Worldly Wednesday: Dias de los Muertos
In Mexico, Halloween is part of a 3-day celebration in honor of deceased loved ones, called Los Dias de los Muertos (The Days of the Dead). It is celebrated from October 31-Novemeber 2, encompassing Halloween, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day. It is a fun and happy holiday marked with a parade, and lots of candy skulls (we will be making these on November 1st), skeletons and coffins. Families build "altars" in their homes with pictures of their deceased family members and flowers, candles, bread (called Pan de Muertos; we will also be making this), fruits, and candy. They go to the cemetary and clean up the graves of their loved ones and decorate them with fruit, breads, candles and flowers. Often, the family will spend the entire night at the grave. Handmade "skeletons", called calacas, shown ejoying an active afterlife are another common sight during Los Dias de los Muertos.