Day of the dead

Day of the dead : Traditions, Oaxaca State The strong smell of the flowers perfumes the environment

Traditions of Oaxaca

One of the most extraordinary Mexican traditions is the Day of the dead. The date when the souls of the beloved ones will pass the gate and the living ones will receive them with colored and decorated tables to spend a special time once a year. In fact, they are two days that people use to celebrate the coming of the dead relatives and friends from the eternal life. The celebration starts few days before the date. Many families work together in order to make a great celebration. The local markets offer flowers, bread, incense, skulls, and the necessary to build the Altars. On November first the Saints and the dead children cross the gate from the Mictlan to our world. Then on November second all the rest of the dead souls cross the gate too.

Day of the dead : Traditions, Oaxaca State The tombs are also decorated with Cempasuchitl flowers and food

Altars dedicated to the dead ones

In many homes people place these famous "Altars". During the days of the dead the smell of the deep-yellow flower of Cempasuchitl, flower of dead, fulfills the entire atmosphere and decorates the altars with the deep-purple "Cresta de Gallo", rooster’s comb. People place a picture of the dead relative and decorate the altar with food and beverages the dead one liked most in life; chocolate beverages and bars,mezcal , beer, mole dishes, peanuts, tangerines, bread of dead, sugar canes, candy skulls, oranges, colored flowers, and of course candle flames and crosses made with flowers. It is commonly believed that the dead relative will come that day to share with the living people what he accustomed to enjoy when he was alive.

Day of the dead : Traditions, Oaxaca State People place a picture of the dead relative and decorate the altar with food and beveragesJust entering to a home becomes an unforgettable experience: The strong smell of the flowers perfumes the environment as the candle flames twist softly forming shaky shades between the items that the guest will enjoy for that particular night.

This prehispanic tradition says that the dead ones come from the Mictlan (The land of the dead) and it is a special time to share the dinner with the ones who have just advanced before us.

Day of the dead : Traditions, Oaxaca State The Saints and the dead children came from the Mictlan to our world

Celebrations at the cemeteries

The tombs of almost every cemetery are also decorated with Cempasuchitl flowers and of course with food. In fact people use to stay the whole night at their relatives tombs. There are Mariachis, bands, and trios playing alive and aloud music. Fear is not allowed at this celebration; it is supposed that that we will be welcomed back when we would die. Children, elders, young people, and adults spend the night singing and having dinner next to the tombs. It is a spectacular sight in the middle of the night; the candle flames illuminating the dark, the cold wind of November blowing through the open graveyard, people walking joyful andworriless through the cemetery, the smell of flowers and Tasajo (beefsteak) in grills, many visitors drinking mezcal and also inviting to drink any stranger who passes by, the loud live music that the dead guest used to listen to, the laughing of groups gathering nearby the tombs, many remembering issues of the life of the guest in this typical celebration which mixes theprehispanic tradition and catholic religion.

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