Día de los Muertos

13 Sep

…or Day of the Dead for those of us who don’t speak Spanish!

It’s essentially a Latin American, Brazilian, Spanish and Mexican tradition with its roots dating right back to the Aztecs. The holiday sees the gathering of family, friends and communities to remember and pray for their family members and loved ones who have died. The celebration falls in line with the Catholic holidays of All Saint’s Day (Nov 1st) and All Soul’s Day (Nov 2nd). Although this around the time of Halloween, the two events are not related.

It is traditional for people to celebrate and honour the deceased by making gifts such as sugar skulls (left), favourite foods and drinks as well as reams of flowers and photographs. These are then placed at headstones or in small shrines at home. It is a cause to celebrate the lives of those who have passed away; many parties, carnivals and dancing add the chance to bring people together on this special occasion.

I personally love the tradition and think it is a wonderful way to remember those you miss without feeling sombre. To celebrate what was good about them and their lives with a smile on your face, to me, seems far more respectful and can actually help with the sense of loss…

I have yet to attend an actual Día de los Muertos event but will seek to find something either in the UK this year or go to Mexico myself next year!  Please do contact me if you know of anything planned at all! 🙂

A shrine with artefacts which reflect some of their passions during their life.

Candles placed at a shrine at night. Pretty and moving.

As I have become interested in the topic more, I had a look around to see what literature I could find to help further my knowledge on the topic. I came across this book (left) ‘The Days of the Dead: Mexico’s Festival of Communication with the Departed’ by Rosalind Rosoff Beimler, which reviews are saying is very educational. I shall review it once it arrives and i’ve thumbed through.

I also liked the theatrics, craft, creativity and colour the event is themed with so ordered this book also which will hopefully keep me amused on a rainy day or prepare me for my own Día de los Muertos celebrations! Prepare to see future posts of the fruits of my labour!!

‘Day of the Dead Crafts: More than 24 Projects That Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos’ by Kerry Arquette, Andrea Zocchi, and Jerry Vigil.

I hope this little outline of the event helps you to understand what Día de los Muertos is all about and if you do know more than I do, I welcome any comments or additional information!

Who says there’s no life after death? 😉



5 Responses to “Día de los Muertos”

  1. Russ September 15, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    this reminds me of Grim Fandango 😀

    • misswoo September 15, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

      I know right?! 🙂 The characters in the game were highly influenced by the theme! I was considering buying a copy but it’s for PC and I mainly use my mac…. have you played it?

      • Russ September 15, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

        hell yeah – one of my all time fav games 😀

        Manny Calavera FTW !

  2. Liz September 19, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    My birthday is 11/2 🙂 I am hoping to go snag a copy of Ms. Lily’s book and make the sugar skulls for my birthday! 🙂

    I’m not some crazy stalker, just found your blog through a post from A Zombie Ate My Cupcake’s page on FB! 🙂

    • misswoo September 19, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

      Don’t worry, I didn’t think you were a “crazy stalker” at all! 🙂

      It’s nice to have some response as I am new to this blogging game! Yeah the book is amazing, I definitely rate it, however some of the recipes can be a little more advanced than your average home baking…but I think that’s why I liked it, more of a challenge.

      Thanks for stopping by Liz, don’t be a stranger! 🙂

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