Day Of The Dead – Dia De Los Muertos Mexico
“It is not Death that will come to fetch me, it is the good God. Death is no phantom, no horrible spectre, as presented in pictures. In the Catechism it is stated that death is the separation of soul and body, that is all! Well, I am not afraid of a separation which will unite me to the good God forever.- St. Therese of Lisieux. Death indeed is but a beginning of Life eternal. On that note, a Christian definitely celebrates Death since it means passing away into the Embrace of God. So, on one day in the year, The Church or The Ecclesia Dei celebrates the Day of The Dead or All Souls Day on November 2. However, in Mexico; Dia De Los Muertos or the Day of the Dead is a 3-day festivity starting from November 2 I.e. All Souls Day and ends on the 5th of November. The uniqueness of this festivity is bound to capture your heart if you are travelling to Mexico during these 3 Days.
What is All Souls Day or Dia De Los Muertos?
According to the Catholic Faith, the soul after a person dies is subject to basically, go to one of three different places. The first of them being Heaven, the abode of the Blessed! A person who passes away in the state of consummate Grace and in sacramental manduction with God departs into the company of the Blessed in Heaven (Paradiso). The second is Hell (Inferno), where those persons who die as unrepentant and in the state of mortal sin stand condemned by virtue of their actions and thoughts in their Free Will. The in-between alternative seems to purgatory (Purgatorio), which is, according to the Catholic Faith, the place where most souls go to, if they have passed away in the state of lesser (venial) sin, and must be free of Mortal Sin. Thus, The Church believes Purgatory being a necessity for those souls that stand in the need of purgation in order to be perfected in order that they may enter into Paradise. The Biblical basis for this belief of The Church is found in the Second Book of Maccabees, Chapter 12, verses 26 and 32, “Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out… Thus made atonement for the dead that they might be free from sin.” Thus to commemorate the Faithfully Departed, The Church prays to God for the remission of their sins especially on the All Souls’ Day or Dia De Los Muertos.
In North America and Mexico, people you might just find, saying excess prayers or light some candles for their beloved departed family members and./or friends. In parts of Latin America (especially in Mexico) families visit graves belonging to their ancestors and many a time; leave offerings of food for their departed.
How is The Festival Observed in Mexico?
Mexicans usually go to graveyards to pray for the souls of their and set up altars on which are the favorite foods as well as beverages along with photos and other memorabilia of their departed family members. If you are asking why? The intention is to ask the souls of the family members to visit the living members of the family. During these three days, the families ordinarily clean and adorn the graves with flowers. Moreover, the cemeteries are decked with different kinds offrendas (meaning “offerings”), which include orange Mexican marigold flowers ( in Spanish: Tagetes erecta).
Traditionally, certain families put up altars or little shrines in their own houses. The Altars usually consist of statues of The Blessed Virgin Mary, The Crucifix, pictures of departed relatives, several candles and an offering. The families spend quite a lot of time around the altar they’ve built, praying for and telling accounts of the lives their deceased. In certain parts of Mexico, the celebrants wear shells added to their normal clothing. This is done so that while dancing the shells, would make a sound of clinking, which is believed to awaken the dead. Some also have a custom of dressing up as their deceased family members.
Moreover, there are also parades and processions that you will find taking place on the streets if you are going to Mexico during this period of time.
Traditional Mexican Dishes For Dia De Los Muertos
Pan de Muertos (Eng: Day of the Dead Bread)
Pan de Muerto is prepared in order to celebrate the Day. The bread is eaten during the three-day Festival. It is an indispensable constituent of the altar, and possibly the food option which is very intimately connected with the 3-day Festivity. The type Pan de Muerto at times vary locally, the most ordinary of them is a round and saccharine bread with forms of bones made on it, which are most commonly either besprent with sugar or decked with sesame seeds. The importance of the bread in the Catholic Faith in Mexico is as symbolic of the Body of Christ (Corpus Christi) which adds on to its importance as the traditional holiday food. Don’t forget to get yourself a bite of Pan de Muerto!
Tamales is a corn-meal dough with a type of filling which is wrapped in either corn-husk or banana-leaf and then is steamed.
Other food like Mole Negro, Calabaza en Dulce or Candied Pumpkin and Sugared Skulls and Skeletons along with drinks like Hot Chocolate, make up the traditional Day of The Dead Cuisine. Each part of Mexico has its own cuisines which are fondly and fastidiously prepared for this three-day festival.
If you are planning a trip to Mexico, during the Dia De Los Muertos, make sure you log-in to www.faremachine.com, for the perfect deals and offers on the flights to Mexico. All the more, we wholeheartedly wish you a “Via con Dios”.
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