Recordando nuestros difuntos y celebrando con tradicion
Candy, children dressed as their favorite Halloween superhero, and scary decoration has been a long tradition celebrated in the United States. But as cultures and customs change with new traditions coming in along with the diversity community, we see new traditions and believes come to life during Halloween time. The growing celebration of “Dia de los Muertos” has become very popular. With sugar skulls, remembrance alters, and traditional religious elements.
“Dia de los muertos” is a day to honor loved ones that have passed and celebrate that they have not been forgotten. According to nationalgeographic.org this celebration is a combined indigenous Aztec ritual with Catholicism, brought to the region by Spanish conquistadores”. It is a day to celebrate all saints and souls day, running from Nov.1-2.
Along with building a multi-layer alter with its meanings: three layers, upper meaning sky, middle meaning earth, and lower meaning purgatory. The alter should have pictures of the saints, candles meaning the guiding light for those returning from the after light, Pan de muerto (bread of the dead) meaning an offer of food, sugar skulls, and drinks for those in transit from the after-life, photos of loved ones that have departed meaning that those who have died will return, crosses and religious figures meaning religious guidance of those catholic believers, decorative papel picado meaning the joy of those who return, and cempasuchil (Marigolds) meaning the flower of guidance for those spirits finding there way.
FOTO COURTESIA DE DAVID BURN/FLICKR
Along with the traditional dia de los Muertos altar, the two day celebration also takes place at the graveyards where loved ones are buried. Family and friends bring decorative flowers (the traditional marigolds), food and live music to loved ones graves where they spend both days remembering those no longer living.
Dia de los muerto is a day to celebrate the those loved that have passed. Those who celebrate this day recognizes that death is not sad but a part of live and it assures your family will not forget you after death. In the contrary Halloween is a tradition that comes from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, in which the boundary between the living and dead worlds would blur. Halloween is actually All Hallow’s Eve, the night before All Saints day- dia de los muertos.
The tradition of “trick or treat” is also an activity that was brought to the Americas from other cultures, this time the Ireland, Scotland, and Wales community that migrated. Along with pumpkin carving and dressing up.
Although many of the activities between both holidays are similar, each
As new traditions are beginning to be celebrated and new meanings are given to old traditions, America’s melting pot of communities bring new traditions to adopt. The Mexican and European cultures of Halloween, All saints day, and dia de los muertos have brought more means to celebrate the end of October and beginning of November.
Happy Halloween and Feliz dia de los Muertos.
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