Navigation
Suscribe
Menu Search Facebook Twitter
Search Close
Menu ALL SECTIONS
  • Capital Coahuila
  • Capital Hidalgo
  • Capital Jalisco
  • Capital Morelos
  • Capital Oaxaca
  • Capital Puebla
  • Capital Quintana Roo
  • Capital Querétaro
  • Capital Veracruz
  • Capital México
  • Capital Michoacán
  • Capital Mujer
  • Reporte Índigo
  • Estadio Deportes
  • The News
  • Efekto
  • Diario DF
  • Capital Edo. de Méx.
  • Green TV
  • Revista Cambio
Radio Capital
Pirata FM
Capital Máxima
Capital FM
Digital
Prensa
Radio
TV
X
Newsletter
Facebook Twitter
X Welcome! Subscribe to our newsletter and receive news, data, statistical and exclusive promotions for subscribers
Mexico

Mexico Celebrates Día de Muertos

The celebration best represents the clash of colonialism and native traditions

The Temple of Our Lady of Nativity in Erongarícuaro, Michoacán -- surrounded by a graveyard -- looks its best adorned in cempasúchil flowers, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, photo: Cuartoscuro/Alán Ortega
10 months ago

The tradition of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) spans back to before Columbus got lost and found himself in the Americas. The original festivity date was initially linked to the harvest season — namely maize, chickpeas, and beans — in August, and part of the crops were used as offerings in altars. The bounty of the harvest was attributed — in a thankful manner — to the dead. Everything that comes from the land goes back to the land. People and plants alike. In strict historical terms, the celebration of the dead was most wide-spread in the central-southern region of the county, where its tradition reaches further.

An image from the Codex Magliagliabechiano which may be considered a glossary of religious and cosmological elements. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The arrival of the Spanish conquistadors and their traditions moved the date a bit later on the calendar to Nov. 1 and 2: All the Saints Day and the Day of the Dead. They also added Catholic elements to the altar and the rite, like the crosses, prayers, “holy ground” and the belief of the dead coming back.

The latest addition to the mix is the “Catrina” or Elegant Woman Skeleton who has become the emblem of the contemporary Day of the Dead. This cartoon from the early 1900s was part of a series that explored social “wanna-be” behaviors in the country. This skeleton who drank pulque and partied was a satire of the “garbanceros,” or people who wanted to fake a European origin they did not posses to gain status and importance.

She marked the resurgence and popularization of the holiday promoted by Mexican intellectuals in the 1930s.

Due to this long tradition and exceptional blend of elements, no two celebrations of the Day of the Dead are alike. While setting up an altar and visiting the dearly departed at the graveyard are staple activities of the day, Mexico’s vast geography and diverse culture account for a myriad different celebrations on Nov. 1 and 2.

For example, in the central-eastern region of Mexico, known as the Huasteca, the celebration is known as Xantolo, possibly a derivation from the word santo (saint), where preparations for this holiday in some places start as early as June 24 — the day of Saint John — when the cempasúchil flower is planted.

A woman in Oaxaca stands next to the grave of her loved ones. Photo: Cuartoscuro/Rashide Frías

One of the most notorious and colorful displays of remembrance takes place in the region surrounding the lake of Patzcúaro, Michoacán. The most famous towns include Patzcúaro, Janitzio, Tzintzuntzan, Ihuazio and Zirahuén where urbanites, farmworkers and indigenous groups unite in an all-nighter of song, food and memories at the graveyard.

The most important thing of this holiday, whether you choose to set up an altar or paint your face as the Catrina, is that you make sure you make a stop along the way and pay your respects to those who fell behind along the way. Legend has it that these are the days to catch up with loved ones who have passed on.

Comments Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
More From The News
World

Van Plows into Crowd in Barcelona; Polic ...

44 mins ago
Mexico

Transport Workers in Morelos Now Able to ...

2 hours ago
Business

Global Stocks Slip as Investors Digest C ...

3 hours ago
World

One Million South Sudan Refugees Now in ...

3 hours ago
Most Popular

Israeli Leader Criticized for Response t ...

By The Associated Press
World

Defiant Trump Again Blames 'Both Sides' ...

By The Associated Press
World

A Chronicle of Nota Roja in Mexico

By Guillermo Verduzco
Living

Global Stocks Slip as Investors Digest C ...

By The Associated Press
Business

Young Leaders of Massive 2014 Hong Kong ...

By The Associated Press
World