Day of the Dead is the most spooky yet lively celebration in Mexico. Its portrayal in mass media has become a phenomenon and a most awaited event every year, well, aside from Christmas and New Year. This day it is believed that the spirit of the dead is allowed to roam around the world of the living.
Day of the Dead is associated with sugar, butterflies, and of course, skulls. You can see tons and tons of people having their faces painted with skulls. It is the time to bust out your makeup skulls, do something funky costumes, party, drink, dance to the rhythm of the night, sing out loud, and make offerings to the departed loved ones.
It is Not a Mexican Halloween:
A lot of you may be shocked to have been enlightened by this still misunderstanding and this is one of the Day of the Dead facts that should be highlighted.
Though it is celebrated on November 1, these two events are not alike at all. Halloween is the day where you can commit acts of mischief, pranks, and trickery. But in Day of the Dead, it is a celebration of life, not death.
It is believed that death is a part of everyone’s life’s journey; thus, instead of the notion that death is the end of life, they believe that death is the beginning of a new life. The only similarities between Halloween and the Day of the Dead celebration are the fact that it is connotated with graveyards and the notions of death.
Skeleton Face Paint
When you are at the Day of the Dead celebration, you will see a sea of people having their faces splattered and artistically decorated with creative imagery. You can also paint your own look because the thing about Day of the Dead is there is no right or wrong way to paint your face. All you have is channel yourself and celebrate the day with a smile on your face.
One of the most common and the most recognizable face illustrations is the skull. Although you can choose your own design, may it be flowers or animals or anything that suits your personality and likes.
Marigold For Guidance
Flowers are one of the most common things to offer to the dead when you visit their grave. It is a sign of love and respect and that you still remember them. On Day of the Dead, the flower has a kind of symbolism. Marigolds’ petals are scattered on the road since, in the tradition, they believe that it will guide the spirits.
In that way, those flower petals allow the spirits to travel to the world of the living. One exciting thing about the incorporation of Marigold flowers as a path is because of its smell. A strong scent characterizes marigold, thus idealizing that spirits can smell it. Flowers are also displayed and offered on altars.
The Prevalence of Tamales
Tamales are one of the foods you will always see when celebrating Day of the Dead. Aside from it is the Traditional Mexican food, and you can still see it all year round. Still, it is more significant and vital to the celebration of Day of the Dead.
Tamales are a Mexican food in which the banana leaves or the corn husk is filled with masa or a kind of corn paste. It is a delectable food made with love and adoration.
The Offering in Offerendas
Families are essential to Mexican cultures. Thus, when a part of the family dies, it is customary that when the Day of the Dead comes, the living should offer an ofrenda. It is to honor and respect them. Ofrendas are shrines in which are decorated with vivid, vibrant, flamboyant colors of orange and purple.
Ofrendas are also accompanied by marigold and papercrafts, which is a ‘papel picado.’ And at the top of their altars is adorned with its beautiful picture of the departed and things that are considered precious to them and foods that they enjoyed before they passed along with crosses, statues, and others.
Customary Cemetery Visits
One of the fantastic things about the celebration of Day of the Dead is that it is an excuse to bond together with your family and all your relatives because you will have to go to a cemetery to visit your dead loved ones. Light some candles, offer flowers and even put food.
This day you will get to clean and wash your departed loved ones’ graves and bring objects that they enjoy when they are still alive and kicking in this world. Children could enjoy playing with their toys, and in some cases, stories will be shared and look back on the painful, sad, and happy memories about the dead loved one and then have a meal.
Rich History of Day of the Dead
This event has a magnificent, remarkable, and fascinating that will shock and stun you. It puts a smile on your face and deepens your understanding of this culture and tradition. The celebration of Day of the Dead dates back to 2000 years. But one thing is for sure; this celebration is made to honor the dead.
Paper Power and Arts and Crafts
Most of the decorations used in the celebration of Day of the Dead is made of paper. The most common design in this event is the paper flowers made from crepe paper. I mean, Day of the Dead is one of the days where you can show your creativity and your skill with crafting.
Some of the decoration and the material utilized are tissue papers. It is somewhat arts and craft but lively, striking, arresting in conclusion, just a treat for your eyes. You do not have to have an exquisite decoration, just the things you found in your house and glitz on it is enough.
The Day of the Dead is one of the most fascinating and stupendous celebrations to take place in the whole world. The fact that it honors the dead loved ones while celebrating the living without any somber atmosphere at play is really breathtaking and perplexing.
I mean, what could be more spectacular is the idea that the dead would visit the living at that time. The fact that your family could have quality time together to talk, share stories, and children to play is just simply phenomenal. And the butterflies, sweets, and food are just the bonus part of it.