Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and helping support their spiritual journey. In Mexican culture, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle. Mexicans view it not as a day of sadness but as a day of celebration because their loved ones awake and celebrate with them.[1] In 2008, the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.[2]

The holiday is sometimes called Día de los Muertos[3][4] in Anglophone countries, a back-translation of its original name, Día de Muertos. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a public holiday. Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer. Gradually, it was associated with October 31, November 1, and November 2 to coincide with the Western Christian triduum of Allhallowtide: All Saints' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day.[5][6] Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using calaveras, aztec marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.[7] Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. It has become a national symbol and as such is taught (for educational purposes) in the nation's schools. Many families celebrate a traditional "All Saints' Day" associated with the Catholic Church.

Originally, the Day of the Dead as such was not celebrated in northern Mexico, where it was unknown until the 20th century because its indigenous people had different traditions. The people and the church rejected it as a day related to syncretizing pagan elements with Catholic Christianity. They held the traditional 'All Saints' Day' in the same way as other Christians in the world. There was limited Mesoamerican influence in this region, and relatively few indigenous inhabitants from the regions of Southern Mexico, where the holiday was celebrated. In the early 21st century in northern Mexico, Día de Muertos is observed because the Mexican government made it a national holiday based on educational policies from the 1960s; it has introduced this holiday as a unifying national tradition based on indigenous traditions.[8][9][10]

Day of the Dead
Altardediademuertos
Día de Muertos altar commemorating a deceased man in Milpa Alta, México DF
Observed byMexico, and regions with large Mexican populations
TypeCultural
Syncretic Christian
SignificancePrayer and remembrance of friends and family members who have died
CelebrationsCreation of altars to remember the dead, traditional dishes for the Day of the Dead
BeginsOctober 31
EndsNovember 2
DateNovember 2
Next time2 November 2019
FrequencyAnnual
Related toAll Saints' Day

Observance in Mexico

History

Mixquic Mágico 17
Woman lighting copal incense at the cemetery during the "Alumbrada" vigil in San Andrés Mixquic
Calvario de Metepec
Day of the Dead altars in Metepec

The Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico developed from ancient traditions among its pre-Columbian cultures. Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors had been observed by these civilizations perhaps for as long as 2,500–3,000 years.[11] The festival that developed into the modern Day of the Dead fell in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, about the beginning of August, and was celebrated for an entire month. The festivities were dedicated to the goddess[12] known as the "Lady of the Dead", corresponding to the modern La Calavera Catrina.

By the late 20th century in most regions of Mexico, practices had developed to honor dead children and infants on November 1, and to honor deceased adults on November 2. November 1 is generally referred to as Día de los Inocentes ("Day of the Innocents") but also as Día de los Angelitos ("Day of the Little Angels"); November 2 is referred to as Día de los Muertos or Día de los Difuntos ("Day of the Dead").[13]

In the 2015 James Bond film, Spectre, the opening sequence features a Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City. At the time, no such parade took place in Mexico City; one year later, due to the interest in the film and the government desire to promote the pre-Hispanic Mexican culture, the federal and local authorities decided to organize an actual "Día de Muertos" parade through Paseo de la Reforma and Centro Historico on October 29, 2016, which was attended by 250,000 people.[14][15][16]

Beliefs

Frances Ann Day summarizes the three-day celebration, the Day of the Dead:

On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children's altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta is filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.
— Frances Ann Day, Latina and Latino Voices in Literature[5]

Altars (ofrendas)

People go to cemeteries to be with the souls of the departed and build private altars containing the favorite foods and beverages, as well as photos and memorabilia, of the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them. Celebrations can take a humorous tone, as celebrants remember funny events and anecdotes about the departed.[13]

Cempasuchil
Mexican cempasúchil (marigold) is the traditional flower used to honor the dead.
Catrina 3
Cempasúchil, alfeñiques and papel picado used to decorate an altar

Plans for the day are made throughout the year, including gathering the goods to be offered to the dead. During the three-day period families usually clean and decorate graves;[12] most visit the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried and decorate their graves with ofrendas (altars), which often include orange Mexican marigolds (Tagetes erecta) called cempasúchil (originally named cempoaxochitl, Nāhuatl for "twenty flowers"). In modern Mexico the marigold is sometimes called Flor de Muerto (Flower of Dead). These flowers are thought to attract souls of the dead to the offerings. It is also believed the bright petals with a strong scent can guide the souls from cemeteries to their family homes.[17][18]

Toys are brought for dead children (los angelitos, or "the little angels"), and bottles of tequila, mezcal or pulque or jars of atole for adults. Families will also offer trinkets or the deceased's favorite candies on the grave. Some families have ofrendas in homes, usually with foods such as candied pumpkin, pan de muerto ("bread of dead"), and sugar skulls; and beverages such as atole. The ofrendas are left out in the homes as a welcoming gesture for the deceased.[12][18] Some people believe the spirits of the dead eat the "spiritual essence" of the ofrendas food, so though the celebrators eat the food after the festivities, they believe it lacks nutritional value. Pillows and blankets are left out so the deceased can rest after their long journey. In some parts of Mexico, such as the towns of Mixquic, Pátzcuaro and Janitzio, people spend all night beside the graves of their relatives. In many places, people have picnics at the grave site, as well.

CemetarioAlmoloyaRio1995
Families tidying and decorating graves at a cemetery in Almoloya del Río in the State of Mexico, 1995

Some families build altars or small shrines in their homes;[12] these sometimes feature a Christian cross, statues or pictures of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pictures of deceased relatives and other people, scores of candles, and an ofrenda. Traditionally, families spend some time around the altar, praying and telling anecdotes about the deceased. In some locations, celebrants wear shells on their clothing, so when they dance, the noise will wake up the dead; some will also dress up as the deceased .

During Day of the Dead festivities, food is both eaten by living people and given to the spirits of their departed ancestors as ofrendas ("offerings").[19] Tamales are one of the most common dishes prepared for this day for both purposes.[20]

Pan de muerto and calaveras are associated specifically with Day of the Dead. Pan de muerto is a type of sweet roll shaped like a bun, topped with sugar, and often decorated with bone-shaped phalanges pieces.[21] Calaveras, or sugar skulls, display colorful designs to represent the vitality and individual personality of the departed.[20]

In addition to food, drink is also important to the tradition of Day of the Dead. Historically, the main alcoholic drink was pulque while today families will commonly drink the favorite beverage of their deceased ancestors.[20] Other drinks associated with the holiday are atole and champurrado, warm, thick, non-alcoholic masa drinks.

Jamaican iced tea is a popular herbal tea made of the flowers and leaves of the Jamaican hibiscus plant (Hibiscus sabdariffa), known as flor de Jamaica in Mexico. It is served cold and quite sweet with a lot of ice. The ruby-red beverage is called hibiscus tea in English-speaking countries and called agua de Jamaica (water of Jamaica) in Spanish.[22]

Calaveras

Those with a distinctive talent for writing sometimes create short poems, called calaveras literarias (skulls literature), mocking epitaphs of friends, describing interesting habits and attitudes or funny anecdotes.[23] This custom originated in the 18th or 19th century after a newspaper published a poem narrating a dream of a cemetery in the future, "and all of us were dead", proceeding to read the tombstones. Newspapers dedicate calaveras to public figures, with cartoons of skeletons in the style of the famous calaveras of José Guadalupe Posada, a Mexican illustrator.[24] Theatrical presentations of Don Juan Tenorio by José Zorrilla (1817–1893) are also traditional on this day.

Catrinas 2
Modern representations of La Catrina

Posada created what might be his most famous print, he called the print La Calavera Catrina ("The Elegant Skull") as a parody of a Mexican upper-class female. Posada's intent with the image was to ridicule the others that would claim the cultural of the Europeans over the culture of the indigenous people. The image was a skeleton with a big floppy hat that decorated with 2 big feathers and multiple flowers on the hop of the hat. Posada's striking image of a costumed female with a skeleton face has become associated with the Day of the Dead, and Catrina figures often are a prominent part of modern Day of the Dead observances.[24]

A common symbol of the holiday is the skull (in Spanish calavera), which celebrants represent in masks, called calacas (colloquial term for skeleton), and foods such as sugar or chocolate skulls, which are inscribed with the name of the recipient on the forehead. Sugar skulls can be given as gifts to both the living and the dead.[24] Other holiday foods include pan de muerto, a sweet egg bread made in various shapes from plain rounds to skulls, often decorated with white frosting to look like twisted bones.[18]

Local traditions

The traditions and activities that take place in celebration of the Day of the Dead are not universal, often varying from town to town. For example, in the town of Pátzcuaro on the Lago de Pátzcuaro in Michoacán, the tradition is very different if the deceased is a child rather than an adult. On November 1 of the year after a child's death, the godparents set a table in the parents' home with sweets, fruits, pan de muerto, a cross, a rosary (used to ask the Virgin Mary to pray for them) and candles. This is meant to celebrate the child's life, in respect and appreciation for the parents. There is also dancing with colorful costumes, often with skull-shaped masks and devil masks in the plaza or garden of the town. At midnight on November 2, the people light candles and ride winged boats called mariposas (butterflies) to Janitzio, an island in the middle of the lake where there is a cemetery, to honor and celebrate the lives of the dead there.

In contrast, the town of Ocotepec, north of Cuernavaca in the State of Morelos, opens its doors to visitors in exchange for veladoras (small wax candles) to show respect for the recently deceased. In return the visitors receive tamales and atole. This is done only by the owners of the house where someone in the household has died in the previous year. Many people of the surrounding areas arrive early to eat for free and enjoy the elaborate altars set up to receive the visitors.

In some parts of the country (especially the cities, where in recent years other customs have been displaced) children in costumes roam the streets, knocking on people's doors for a calaverita, a small gift of candies or money; they also ask passersby for it. This relatively recent custom is similar to that of Halloween's trick-or-treating in the United States. Another peculiar tradition involving kids is La Danza de los Viejitos (the dance of the old men) when boy and young men dressed as granpas crouch and then jump in an energetic dance.[25]

Dia Muertos027
Day of the Dead protest related to the forced kidnapping of 43 students in Iguala

Observances outside Mexico

Americas

Belize

In Belize, Day of the Dead is practiced by people of the Yucatec Maya ethnicity. The celebration is known as Hanal Pixan which means "food for the souls" in their language. Altars are constructed and decorated with food, drinks, candies, and candles put on them.

Bolivia

Día de las Ñatitas ("Day of the Skulls") is a festival celebrated in La Paz, Bolivia, on May 5. In pre-Columbian times indigenous Andeans had a tradition of sharing a day with the bones of their ancestors on the third year after burial. Today families keep only the skulls for such rituals. Traditionally, the skulls of family members are kept at home to watch over the family and protect them during the year. On November 9, the family crowns the skulls with fresh flowers, sometimes also dressing them in various garments, and making offerings of cigarettes, coca leaves, alcohol, and various other items in thanks for the year's protection. The skulls are also sometimes taken to the central cemetery in La Paz for a special Mass and blessing.[26][27][28]

Brazil

The Brazilian public holiday of Finados (Day of the Dead) is celebrated on November 2. Similar to other Day of the Dead celebrations, people go to cemeteries and churches with flowers and candles and offer prayers. The celebration is intended as a positive honoring of the dead. Memorializing the dead draws from indigenous, African and European Catholic origins.

Guatemala

Guatemalan celebrations of the Day of the Dead, on November 1, are highlighted by the construction and flying of giant kites[29]. The Guatemalan people fly kites in beliefs that the kites help the spirits find there way back to Earth. A few kites have notes for the dead attached to the strings of the kites. The kites are used as a kind of telecommunication to heaven. [24] A big event also is the consumption of fiambre, which is made only for this day during the year. [24] In addition to the traditional visits to grave sites of ancestors, the tombs and graves are decorated with flowers, candles, and food for the dead. In a few towns the Guatemalans repair and repaint the cemetery with colorful colors to bring the cemetery to life. They fix things that have got damaged over the years or just simply need a touch up such as wooden grave cross markers. They also lay flower wreaths on the graves. Some families have picnics in the cemetery. [24]

Ecuador

In Ecuador the Day of the Dead is observed to some extent by all parts of society, though it is especially important to the indigenous Kichwa peoples, who make up an estimated quarter of the population. Indigena families gather together in the community cemetery with offerings of food for a day-long remembrance of their ancestors and lost loved ones. Ceremonial foods include colada morada, a spiced fruit porridge that derives its deep purple color from the Andean blackberry and purple maize. This is typically consumed with guagua de pan, a bread shaped like a swaddled infant, though variations include many pigs—the latter being traditional to the city of Loja. The bread, which is wheat flour-based today, but was made with masa in the pre-Columbian era, can be made savory with cheese inside or sweet with a filling of guava paste. These traditions have permeated mainstream society, as well, where food establishments add both colada morada and gaugua de pan to their menus for the season. Many non-indigenous Ecuadorians visit the graves of the deceased, cleaning and bringing flowers, or preparing the traditional foods, too.[30]

Peru

Usually people visit the cemetery and bring flowers to decorate the graves of dead relatives. Sometimes people play music at the cemetery.[31]

United States

Flower of the Dead ánima (memorial)
An ánima for the dead
Dia de los Muertos Celebration in Mission District of San Francisco, CA
Women with calaveras makeup celebrating Día de Muertos in the Mission District of San Francisco, California

In many American communities with Mexican residents, Day of the Dead celebrations are very similar to those held in Mexico. In some of these communities, in states such as Texas,[32] New Mexico,[33] and Arizona,[34] the celebrations tend to be mostly traditional. The All Souls Procession has been an annual Tucson, Arizona event since 1990. The event combines elements of traditional Day of the Dead celebrations with those of pagan harvest festivals. People wearing masks carry signs honoring the dead and an urn in which people can place slips of paper with prayers on them to be burned.[35] Likewise, Old Town San Diego, California annually hosts a traditional two-day celebration culminating in a candlelight procession to the historic El Campo Santo Cemetery.[36]

The festival also is held annually at historic Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Sponsored by Forest Hills Educational Trust and the folkloric performance group La Piñata, the Day of the Dead festivities celebrate the cycle of life and death. People bring offerings of flowers, photos, mementos, and food for their departed loved ones, which they place at an elaborately and colorfully decorated altar. A program of traditional music and dance also accompanies the community event.

The Smithsonian Institution, in collaboration with the University of Texas at El Paso and Second Life, have created a Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum and accompanying multimedia e-book: Día de los Muertos: Day of the Dead. The project's website contains some of the text and images which explain the origins of some of the customary core practices related to the Day of the Dead, such as the background beliefs and the offrenda (the special altar commemorating one's deceased loved one).[37] The Made For iTunes multimedia e-book version provides additional content, such as further details; additional photo galleries; pop-up profiles of influential Latino artists and cultural figures over the decades; and video clips[38] of interviews with artists who make Día de Muertos-themed artwork, explanations and performances of Aztec and other traditional dances, an animation short that explains the customs to children, virtual poetry readings in English and Spanish.[39][40]

Corazon del Pueblo in Fruitvale, Oakland, CA, US, 2016
Corazon del Pueblo in Fruitvale, Oakland, California, 2016

Santa Ana, California is said to hold the "largest event in Southern California" honoring Día de Muertos, called the annual Noche de Altares, which began in 2002.[41] The celebration of the Day of the Dead in Santa Ana has grown to two large events with the creation of an event held at the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center for the first time on November 1, 2015.[42]

In other communities, interactions between Mexican traditions and American culture are resulting in celebrations in which Mexican traditions are being extended to make artistic or sometimes political statements. For example, in Los Angeles, California, the Self Help Graphics & Art Mexican-American cultural center presents an annual Day of the Dead celebration that includes both traditional and political elements, such as altars to honor the victims of the Iraq War, highlighting the high casualty rate among Latino soldiers. An updated, intercultural version of the Day of the Dead is also evolving at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.[43] There, in a mixture of Native Californian art, Mexican traditions and Hollywood hip, conventional altars are set up side-by-side with altars to Jayne Mansfield and Johnny Ramone. Colorful native dancers and music intermix with performance artists, while sly pranksters play on traditional themes.

Similar traditional and intercultural updating of Mexican celebrations are held in San Francisco. For example, the Galería de la Raza, SomArts Cultural Center, Mission Cultural Center, de Young Museum and altars at Garfield Square by the Marigold Project.[44] Oakland is home to Corazon Del Pueblo in the Fruitvale district. Corazon Del Pueblo has a shop offering handcrafted Mexican gifts and a museum devoted to Day of the Dead artifacts. Also, the Fruitvale district in Oakland serves as the hub of the Día de Muertos annual festival which occurs the last weekend of October. Here, a mix of several Mexican traditions come together with traditional Aztec dancers, regional Mexican music, and other Mexican artisans to celebrate the day.[45]

Europe

As part of a promotion by the Mexican embassy in Prague, Czech Republic, since the late 20th century, some local citizens join in a Mexican-style Day of the Dead. A theatre group produces events featuring masks, candles, and sugar skulls.[46]

Asia and Oceania

Mexican-style Day of the Dead celebrations occur in major cities in Australia, Fiji, and Indonesia. Additionally, prominent celebrations are held in Wellington, New Zealand, complete with altars celebrating the deceased with flowers and gifts.[47] In the Philippines "Undás", "Araw ng mga Yumao" (Tagalog, Day of those who have died), coincides with the Roman Catholic's celebration of All Saint's Day and continues on to the following day of All Soul's Day. Filipinos traditionally observe this day by visiting the family dead to clean and repair their tombs. Offerings of prayers, flowers, candles,[48] and even food, while Chinese Filipinos additionally burn joss sticks and kim. Many also spend the day and ensuing night holding reunions at the cemetery, having feasts and merriment.

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Society, National Geographic (October 17, 2012). "Dia de los Muertos". National Geographic Society. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  2. ^ "Indigenous festivity dedicated to the dead". UNESCO. Archived from the original on October 11, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  3. ^ "Dia de los Muertos". El Museo del Barrio. Archived from the original on October 27, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  4. ^ "Austin Days of the Dead". Archived from the original on November 1, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Day, Frances Ann (2003). Latina and Latino Voices in Literature. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 72. ISBN 978-0313323942.
  6. ^ Lumaban, Weely A. (October – November 2008). "All Soul's Day". The Bread Basket. Vol. V no. 3. Rex Bookstore, Inc. pp. 23–23.
  7. ^ "Dia de los Muertos". National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on November 2, 2016. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  8. ^ Lee, Stacy (2002). Mexico and the United States. Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 978-0761474029.
  9. ^ Cazares, Eduardo (November 2, 2015). "Día de Muertos en Nuevo León". Diario Cultura. Diario Cultura.mx. Archived from the original on November 1, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  10. ^ Mendoza, Gustavo. "Hasta en el velorio, las penas con pan son menos". Milenio. Archived from the original on October 25, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  11. ^ Miller, Carlos (2005). "History: Indigenous people wouldn't let 'Day of the Dead' die". The Arizona Republic. Day of the Dead – Día De Los Muertos. Retrieved November 28, 2007.
  12. ^ a b c d Salvador, R.J. (2003). John D. Morgan and Pittu Laungani (ed.). Death and Bereavement Around the World: Death and Bereavement in the Americas. Death, Value and Meaning Series, Vol. II. Amityville, New York: Baywood Publishing Company. pp. 75–76. ISBN 978-0-89503-232-4.
  13. ^ a b Palfrey, Dale Hoyt (1995). "The Day of the Dead". Día de los Muertos Index. Access Mexico Connect. Archived from the original on November 30, 2007. Retrieved November 28, 2007.
  14. ^ "Mexico City stages first Day of the Dead parade". BBC. October 29, 2016. Archived from the original on October 30, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  15. ^ "Fotogalería: Desfile por Día de Muertos reúne a 250 mil personas". Excélsior (in Spanish). October 29, 2016. Archived from the original on October 31, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  16. ^ "Galerías Archivo". Televisa News. Archived from the original on November 3, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  17. ^ "5 Facts About Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)". Smithsonian Insider. October 30, 2016. Archived from the original on August 29, 2018. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  18. ^ a b c Brandes, Stanley (1997). "Sugar, Colonialism, and Death: On the Origins of Mexico's Day of the Dead". Comparative Studies in Society and History. 39 (2): 275. ISSN 0010-4175. JSTOR 179316.
  19. ^ Turim, Gayle (November 2, 2012). "Day of the Dead Sweets and Treats". History Stories. History Channel. Archived from the original on June 6, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  20. ^ a b c Godoy, Maria. "Sugar Skulls, Tamales And More: Why Is That Food On The Day Of The Dead Altar?". NPR. Archived from the original on October 28, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  21. ^ Castella, Krystina (October 2010). "Pan de Muerto Recipe". Epicurious. Archived from the original on July 8, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  22. ^ "Jamaica iced tea". Cooking in Mexico. Archived from the original on November 4, 2011. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
  23. ^ "These wicked Day of the Dead poems don't spare anyone". PBS NewsHour. November 2, 2018. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  24. ^ a b c d e f Marchi, Regina M (2009). Day of the Dead in the USA : The Migration and Transformation of a Cultural Phenomenon. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-8135-4557-8.
  25. ^ "Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead". Archived from the original on August 29, 2018. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  26. ^ Guidi, Ruxandra (November 9, 2007). "Las Natitas". BBC. Archived from the original on December 6, 2008.
  27. ^ Smith, Fiona (November 8, 2005). "Bolivians Honor Skull-Toting Tradition". Associated Press. Archived from the original on February 18, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  28. ^ "All Saints day in Bolivia – "The skull festival"". Bolivia Line (May 2005). Archived from the original on October 23, 2008. Retrieved December 20, 2007.
  29. ^ Burlingame, Betsy; Wood, Joshua. "Visit to cemetery in Guatemala". Expatexchange.com. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  30. ^ Ortiz, Gonzalo (October 30, 2010). "Diversity in Remembering the Dead". InterPress Service News Agency. Archived from the original on November 4, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
  31. ^ "Perú: así se vivió Día de todos los santos en cementerios de Lima". Peru. peru.com. January 1, 2016. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  32. ^ Wise, Danno. "Port Isabel's Day of the Dead Celebration". Texas Travel. About.com. Archived from the original on December 9, 2007. Retrieved November 28, 2007.
  33. ^ "Dia de los Muertos". visitalbuquerque.org. Archived from the original on November 3, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  34. ^ Hedding, Judy. "Day of the Dead". Phoenix. About.com. Archived from the original on December 11, 2007. Retrieved November 28, 2007.
  35. ^ White, Erin (November 5, 2006). "All Souls Procession". Arizona Daily Star. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2007.
  36. ^ "Old Town San Diego's Dia de los Muertos". Archived from the original on November 7, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  37. ^ Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum. Día de los Muertos: Day of the Dead (Version 1.2 ed.). Archived from the original on December 22, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  38. ^ "Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum". Ustream. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  39. ^ Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum. "Day of the Dead". Theater of the Dead. Archived from the original on November 12, 2014. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  40. ^ Smithsonian Institution. "Smithsonian-UTEP Día de los Muertos Festival: A 2D and 3D Experience!". Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum Press Release. Archived from the original on November 6, 2009.
  41. ^ "Less-scary holiday: Some faith groups offer alternatives to Halloween trick-or-treating". The Orange County Register. Archived from the original on October 31, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  42. ^ "Viva la Vida or Noche de Altares? Santa Ana's downtown division fuels dueling Day of the Dead events". The Orange County Register. Archived from the original on November 3, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  43. ^ "Making a night of Day of the Dead" Los Angeles Times October 18, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2006.
  44. ^ "Dia de los Muertos [Day of the Dead] – San Francisco". Archived from the original on October 17, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  45. ^ Elliott, Vicky (October 27, 2000). "Lively Petaluma festival marks Day of the Dead". The San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
  46. ^ Day of the Dead in Prague Archived October 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Radio Czech.
  47. ^ "Day of the Dead in Wellington, New Zealand". Scoop.co.nz. October 27, 2007. Archived from the original on June 4, 2009. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  48. ^ ""All Saints Day around the world", Guardian Weekly, November 1, 2010". Archived from the original on October 29, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.

Further reading

  • Andrade, Mary J. Day of the Dead A Passion for Life – Día de los Muertos Pasión por la Vida. La Oferta Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-0-9791624-04
  • Anguiano, Mariana, et al. Las tradiciones de Día de Muertos en México. Mexico City 1987.
  • Brandes, Stanley (1997). "Sugar, Colonialism, and Death: On the Origins of Mexico's Day of the Dead". Comparative Studies in Society and History. 39 (2): 270–99. doi:10.1017/S0010417500020624.
  • Brandes, Stanley (1998). "The Day of the Dead, Halloween, and the Quest for Mexican National Identity". Journal of American Folklore. 111 (442): 359–80. doi:10.2307/541045. JSTOR 541045.
  • Brandes, Stanley (1998). "Iconography in Mexico's Day of the Dead". Ethnohistory. Duke University Press. 45 (2): 181–218. doi:10.2307/483058. JSTOR 483058.
  • Brandes, Stanley (December 15, 2006). Skulls to the Living, Bread to the Dead. Blackwell Publishing. p. 232. ISBN 978-1-4051-5247-1.
  • Cadafalch, Antoni. The Day of the Dead. Korero Books, 2011. ISBN 978-1-907621-01-7
  • Carmichael, Elizabeth; Sayer, Chloe. The Skeleton at the Feast: The Day of the Dead in Mexico. Great Britain: The Bath Press, 1991. ISBN 0-7141-2503-2
  • Conklin, Paul (2001). "Death Takes a Holiday". U.S. Catholic. 66: 38–41.
  • Garcia-Rivera, Alex (1997). "Death Takes a Holiday". U.S. Catholic. 62: 50.
  • Haley, Shawn D.; Fukuda, Curt. Day of the Dead: When Two Worlds Meet in Oaxaca. Berhahn Books, 2004. ISBN 1-84545-083-3
  • Lane, Sarah and Marilyn Turkovich, Días de los Muertos/Days of the Dead. Chicago 1987.
  • Lomnitz, Claudio. Death and the Idea of Mexico. Zone Books, 2005. ISBN 1-890951-53-6
  • Matos Moctezuma, Eduardo, et al. "Miccahuitl: El culto a la muerte," Special issue of Artes de México 145 (1971)
  • Nutini, Hugo G. Todos Santos in Rural Tlaxcala: A Syncretic, Expressive, and Symbolic Analysis of the Cult of the Dead. Princeton 1988.
  • Oliver Vega, Beatriz, et al. The Days of the Dead, a Mexican Tradition. Mexico City 1988.
  • Roy, Ann (1995). "A Crack Between the Worlds". Commonwealth. 122: 13–16.
Atole

Atole or Spanish a'tole , from Nahuatl ātōlli [aːˈtoːlːi]), also known as atol and atol de elote, is a traditional hot corn- and masa-based beverage of Mesoamerican origin. Chocolate atole is known as champurrado or atole. It typically accompanies tamales, and is very popular during the Christmas holiday season (las Posadas).

Calavera

A calavera [plural: calaveras] (Spanish -pronounced [kalaˈβeɾa] for "skull") is a representation of a human skull. The term is most often applied to edible or decorative skulls made (usually by hand) from either sugar (called Alfeñiques) or clay which are used in the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) and the Roman Catholic holiday All Souls' Day. Calavera can also refer to any artistic representations of skulls, such as the lithographs of José Guadalupe Posada. The most widely known calaveras are created with cane sugar and are decorated with items such as colored foil, icing, beads, and feathers.Traditional methods for producing calaveras have been in use since the 1630s. The skulls are created either for children or as offerings to be placed on altars known as ofrendas for the Día de Muertos which has roots in the Aztec, Mayan, and Toltec cultural celebration of the Day of the Dead.The tradition of sugar skulls is for families to decorate their loved ones' ofrendas with both large and small handmade sugar skulls. Children who have died, represented by small sugar skulls, are celebrated on November 1. The larger sugar skulls represent the adults, whose celebration takes place on November 2. It is believed that the departed return home to enjoy the offering on the altar.In pre-Columbian times the images of skulls and skeletons were shown often in paintings, pottery, etc. representing rebirth into the next stage of life. During the 20th century a political caricaturist named José Guadalupe Posada became famous for making Calaveras as vain skeletons dressed in the clothing of the wealthy. The most famous one was Catrina, wearing a feathery hat, fancy shoes and a long dress. Catrina is considered to be the personification of The Day of the Dead. These skeletons are created from many materials such as wood, sugar paste varieties, types of nuts, chocolate, etc. When used as offerings, the name of the deceased is written across the forehead of the skull on colored foil.

Champurrado

Champurrado is a chocolate-based atole, a warm and thick Mexican drink, prepared with either masa de maíz (lime-treated-corn dough), masa harina (a dried version of this dough), or corn flour (simply very finely ground dried corn, especially local varieties grown for atole); piloncillo; water or milk; and occasionally containing cinnamon, anise seed, or vanilla. Ground nuts, orange zest, and egg can also be employed to thicken and enrich the drink. Atole drinks are whipped up using a wooden whisk called a molinillo (or a blender). The whisk is rolled between the palms of the hands, then moved back and forth in the mixture until it is aerated and frothy.

Champurrado is traditionally served with churros in the morning as a simple breakfast or as a late afternoon snack. Champurrado is also very popular during Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead in Spanish) and at Las Posadas (the Christmas season), where it is served alongside tamales. An instant mix for champurrado is available in Mexican grocery stores. Champurrado may also be made with alcohol.

Coco (2017 film)

Coco is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on an original idea by Lee Unkrich, it is directed by him and co-directed by Adrian Molina. The film's voice cast stars Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renée Victor, Ana Ofelia Murguía and Edward James Olmos. The story follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who is accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead, where he seeks the help of his deceased musician great-great-grandfather to return him to his family among the living and to reverse his family’s ban on music.

The concept for Coco is inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday. The film was scripted by Molina and Matthew Aldrich from a story by Unkrich, Jason Katz, Aldrich and Molina. Pixar began developing the animation in 2016; Unkrich and some of the film's crew visited Mexico for research. Composer Michael Giacchino, who had worked on prior Pixar animated features, composed the score. Coco is the first film with a nine-figure budget to feature an all-Latino principal cast, with a cost of $175 million.

Coco premiered on October 20, 2017 during the Morelia International Film Festival in Morelia, Mexico. It was theatrically released in Mexico the following week, the weekend before Día de los Muertos, and in the United States on November 22, 2017. The film was praised for its animation, voice acting, music, emotional story, and respect for Mexican culture. It grossed over $807 million worldwide, becoming the 15th highest-grossing animated film ever and was the 11th highest-grossing film of 2017. Recipient of several accolades, Coco was chosen by the National Board of Review as the Best Animated Film of 2017. The film won two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song ("Remember Me"). Additionally, it also won the Best Animated Film at the BAFTA Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Critic's Choice Movie Awards, and Annie Awards.

Day of the Dead (1985 film)

Day of the Dead is a 1985 American zombie horror film written and directed by George A. Romero, and the third film in Romero's Night of the Living Dead series, which began with Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978).Romero describes the film as a "tragedy about how a lack of human communication causes chaos and collapse even in this small little pie slice of society".This film features Sherman Howard in an early appearance as Bub, and make-up artist Gregory Nicotero playing Private Johnson and assisting Tom Savini with the make-up effects.

The film was remade twice: the first is the 2008 film of the same name and the second is Day of the Dead: Bloodline (2018).

Day of the Dead (2008 film)

Day of the Dead is a 2008 American horror film about a virus outbreak that causes people to turn into violent zombie-like creatures. It is a loose remake of George A. Romero's 1985 film of the same name, the third in Romero's Dead series, and it is the first of two remakes of the original 1985 film; the other is Day of the Dead: Bloodline (2018). The 2008 film was directed by Steve Miner and written by Jeffrey Reddick.

Day of the Dead (2008) was principally shot in Bulgaria, with limited shooting in Los Angeles, California. Tyler Bates provided the soundtrack, and screenwriter Jeffrey Reddick has a cameo appearance as an ill-fated police officer.

Day of the Dead (2016 album)

Day of the Dead is the twenty-fifth compilation release benefiting the Red Hot Organization, an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS. Featuring fifty-nine exclusive recordings of covers of Grateful Dead songs by a number of independent artists as a tribute to the band, the compilation was released on May 20, 2016 as five CDs, a limited edition vinyl LP box set, and as a digital download. John Carlin, the founder of the Red Hot Organization, was the executive producer for the album.It is the second compilation album produced by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National for Red Hot Organization, following 2009's Dark Was the Night, which has raised over $1.5 million for the organizations fighting AIDS to date.A Day of the Dead live performance took place at the second annual Eaux Claires Festival on August 12–13, 2016. The performers, who all appear on the record, included Jenny Lewis, Matthew Houck (Phosphorescent), Lucius, Will Oldham, Moses Sumney, Sam Amidon, Richard Reed Parry, Matt Berninger, Justin Vernon, Josh Kaufman, Bruce Hornsby, Ruban Nielson, Aaron and Bryce Dessner and The National.

Day of the Dead (Babylon 5)

"Day of the Dead" is an episode from the fifth season of the science fiction television series Babylon 5. It was written by science fiction and fantasy author Neil Gaiman, and is the only episode after the second season not written by J. Michael Straczynski. The episode also features Penn & Teller, who portray comedians Rebo and Zooty. It is a break from the show's usual continuing story arc, though some events do have relevance to the rest of the series.

Ghosts in Mexican culture

There is an extensive and varied belief in ghosts in Mexican culture. The modern state of Mexico is inhabited by peoples such as the Maya and Aztec. Their beliefs in a supernatural world has survived and evolved, combined with the Catholic beliefs of the Spanish conquest. The Day of the Dead incorporates pre-Columbian beliefs with Christian elements. Mexican literature and movies include many stories of ghosts interacting with the living.

Hollywood Undead

Hollywood Undead is an American rap rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 2005. They released their debut album, Swan Songs, on September 2, 2008, and their live CD/DVD Desperate Measures, on November 10, 2009. Their second studio album, American Tragedy, was released April 5, 2011. All of the band members use pseudonyms and wear their own unique mask, most of which are based on the common hockey goaltender design. The band members currently consist of Charlie Scene, Danny, Funny Man, J-Dog, and Johnny 3 Tears. Their third studio album, titled Notes from the Underground, was released on January 8, 2013.

Their fourth studio album, Day of the Dead, was released on March 31, 2015.

Hollywood Undead's fifth record is titled Five (or V), and was released on October 27, 2017. The first single from the album, called "California Dreaming", was made available July 24, 2017.

La Calavera Catrina

La Calavera Catrina ('Dapper Skeleton', 'Elegant Skull') or Catrina La Calavera Garbancera is a 1910–1913 zinc etching by the Mexican printmaker, cartoon illustrator and lithographer José Guadalupe Posada. She is offered as a satirical portrait of those Mexican natives who, Posada felt, were aspiring to adopt European aristocratic traditions in the pre-revolution era. La Catrina has become an icon of the Mexican Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

The zinc etching depicts a female skeleton dressed only in a hat, her chapeau en attende is related to European styles of the early 20th century. The original leaflet describes a person who was ashamed of their indigenous origins and dressed imitating the French style while wearing lots of makeup to make their skin look whiter. This description also uses the word garbancera, a nickname given to people of indigenous ancestry who imitated European style and denied their own cultural heritage.

Memento mori

Memento mori (Latin: "remember (that) you will die") is the medieval Latin Christian theory and practice of reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. It is related to the ars moriendi ("The Art of Dying") and similar Western literature. Memento mori has been an important part of ascetic disciplines as a means of perfecting the character by cultivating detachment and other virtues, and by turning the attention towards the immortality of the soul and the afterlife.In art, memento mori are artistic or symbolic reminders of mortality. In the European Christian art context, "the expression [...] developed with the growth of Christianity, which emphasized Heaven, Hell, and salvation of the soul in the afterlife".

Mexican tea culture

Mexican tea culture is known for its traditional herbal teas which are reputed to have medicinal properties. In recent decades, imported tea beverages have also become popular in Mexico. Mexican tea recipes have grown in popularity beyond Mexico as well.

Pan de muerto

Pan de muerto (Spanish for "bread of the dead"), also called pan de los muertos in Mexico, is a type of pan dulce traditionally baked in Mexico during the weeks leading up to the Día de Muertos, which is celebrated from October 31st to November 2nd.

Scooby-Doo! and the Monster of Mexico

Scooby-Doo! and the Monster of Mexico is a 2003 direct-to-video animated comedy mystery film; the sixth in a series of direct-to-video films based upon the Scooby-Doo Saturday morning cartoons. It was released on September 30, 2003, and it was produced by Warner Bros. Animation. It is one of two Scooby-Doo movies released in 2003 (the other being Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire) that briefly brought back the original voice cast from the original 1969 series sans the late Scooby-Doo voice actor Don Messick (now voiced by Frank Welker, who also plays Fred).

The Book of Life (2014 film)

The Book of Life is a 2014 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy adventure comedy film produced by Reel FX Creative Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Co-written and directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez, it was produced by Aaron Berger, Brad Booker, Guillermo del Toro, and Carina Schulze. The film stars the voices of Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Ron Perlman, and Kate del Castillo. Based on an original idea by Gutierrez, the story follows a bullfighter who, on the Day of the Dead, embarks on an afterlife adventure to fulfill the expectations of his family and friends.

The film premiered in Los Angeles on October 12, 2014, and was released theatrically in the United States on October 17, 2014. It received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. The film grossed $99 million on a $50 million budget.

The National (band)

The National is an American rock band from Cincinnati, Ohio, formed in 1999. The band consists of Matt Berninger (vocals), Aaron Dessner (guitar, piano, keyboards), Bryce Dessner (guitar), Scott Devendorf (bass) and Bryan Devendorf (drums).

Founded by Berninger, Aaron Dessner, and Scott and Bryan Devendorf, The National released their self-titled debut album, The National (2001), on Brassland Records, an independent record label founded by Dessner and his twin brother, Bryce Dessner. Bryce, who had assisted in recording the album, soon joined the band, participating as a full member in the recording of its follow-up, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers (2003).

Leaving behind their day jobs, the National signed with Beggars Banquet Records and released their third studio album, Alligator (2005), to widespread critical acclaim. The band's fourth and fifth studio albums, Boxer (2007) and High Violet (2010), increased their exposure significantly. In 2013, the band released its sixth studio album, Trouble Will Find Me, which was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. In 2017 the band released the album Sleep Well Beast, which won the Grammy award for Best Alternative Music Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Their eighth studio album, I Am Easy to Find, was released on May 17, 2019.

Four of the band's albums were included on NME's 2013 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Ving Rhames

Irving Rameses Rhames (born May 12, 1959) is an American stage and screen actor. He is best known for his starring role as Luther Stickell in the Mission: Impossible film series. He also appeared in Jacob's Ladder (1990), "Dave" (1993), Striptease (1996), Pulp Fiction (1994), Don King: Only in America (1997), Rosewood (1997), Con Air (1997), Bringing Out the Dead (1999), Dawn of the Dead (2004), Day of the Dead (2008), Piranha 3D (2010), and Father Figures (2017). He voiced Cobra Bubbles in the animated film Lilo & Stitch (2002). Rhames is a Golden Globe Award winner, as well as an Emmy Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee.

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