Pages

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

~ Dia De Los Muertos ~

by Tina~in_ut

Mexico at Epcot
Dia De Los Muertos is one of Mexico's traditional holidays reuniting and honoring beloved ancestors, family and friends. It is an ancient and enduring ritual when the living commune with the dead – a mystical night when the veil is lifted between their two realms and they may share a day together. 

The historical roots of this celebration date back to the pre-Hispanic cultures of Meso-America of the indigenous people, especially the Nahua (Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecas, Tlaxcaltec, Chichimec, Tecpanec) and others native to Mexico more than 3,000 years. When the Spaniards conquered the country, this indigenous custom was rooted so deeply that, after five centuries of colonization, it has continued to survive and remain as celebrated as in its first days. 

Throughout each period in Mexican culture, death seems to hold no terror. In Mexican art, legends, and religion, death has not been a mysterious and fearful presence but a realistic recognizable character as much a part of life as life itself. Dia De Los Muertos expresses this perspective: it is not a mournful commemoration but a happy and colorful celebration where Death takes a lively, friendly expression and is not frightening or strange. There is no place for sorrow or weeping for this could be interpreted as a discourteous to the dead relatives who are visiting gladly. 

Catrinas,one of the most popular figures of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico.
Indigenous people believed that souls did not die, that they continued living in Mictlán (Place of Death) a special place for them to finally rest. On Dia De Los Muertos, tradition holds that the dead return to earth to visit their living relatives. It is believed that although these relatives can't see them, they can surely feel them.

This night is an important feast and evocation. It is a time when family members share memorable stories that evoke the lives of their ancestors. Offerings and altars are created to welcome and commemorate the dead. Marigolds and incense are offered in abundance because it is believed their aromatic scents guide the dead to the place where the feast is being held. A profusion of candles dispels the darkness just as the souls are being illuminated from the shadows of death. Altars are created with photos, mementos, fruit, bread, and other favorite things of the ancestors being welcomed and honored. The artifacts of these altars also provide the opportunity to teach children about those who came before them. 

Dia De Los Muertos is a time of celebration on remembrance. It is also a time to come to terms with our mortality and become aware of the cycle of life and death. Rather than deny and fear death this event teaches us to accept and contemplate the meaning of mortality.

25 comments:

Tina~in_ut said...

Good Moaning~

Shirley(NCC-1701) said...

Splat!

Michael said...

Well....an interesting topic...but there are just a few points that Tina didn't mention. It coincides perfectly with her birthday and 2 catholic holidays....

Beats the hell out of our Halloween. I have been in Mexico several times during this holiday and while it is kind of macabre....its also neat to see it. Anything other than a typical day blows my skirt up....lol

These celebrations are held in Texas and this like so many other cultural traditions many people don't understand whats going on...but I have always been interested in knowing about these cultural events....

I have always wanted to go to Haiti for the VOODOO in me....In Haiti.. voodoo traditions mix with Roman Catholic observances as.. for example... loud drums and music are played at all-night celebrations at cemeteries to waken Baron Samed... the Loa of the dead... and his mischievous family of offspring...the Gede!!

Any takers!!??

Excellent effort Tina...I hope Mexico gets everything back under control so the people aren't afraid to go there. I love Mexico and its gracious people...

And thats a good likeness of my sisters....where'd you get that?

Michael said...

oh! Good morning goils...

Zona said...

TINA: Good Moaning! You sure do have a beautiful post birthday glow about you today! :D

I love learning about other cultures and traditions. I remember seeing the celebrations for the 'Day of the Dead' on the news when I was a kid and being frightened by the whole concept. I guess we often fear what we don't understand. Very interesting!

Good Morning SHIRLEY!

Another busy day..better get moving..Waving HI to all who fly this way today! :)

Zona said...

MICHAEL: YIKES!! No doing that voodoo that you do so well.. ;D

Shirley(NCC-1701) said...

Tina as always your wealth of knowledge is only exceeded by your stunning beauty! Very interesting blog.

Afternoon Michael and Zona!

Tina~in_ut said...

Lmbo, Miguelito~ I was going to use that picture in your avatar but I thought it might be too much~ Seems I'm right if you used it! :)~

Moaning Shirley and Zona~

My sister celebrates Dia de los Muertos in her Spanish class today! I bought her a gorgeous shirt for xmas that she dang well better wear next Nov....I thought of going with one of those ugly skulls, but I knew she wouldn't wear it~

Shirley(NCC-1701) said...

testing new avatar

Michael said...

is that a tomato Shirley?

Tina~in_ut said...

Shirley~ did you pass?

Just_Lin said...

Tina Very interesting blog. Thank you. I'm glad you stuck with the George avatar. You wouldn't look good with butterflies stuck all over your head.

Oh, and did Shirley pass????? Gas???

Just_Lin said...

Shirley Good morning. If you don't mind, I'll just stand over here on the other side of the room for a little while. ;)

Tina~in_ut said...

lol J/L~ I was going to post that pic on the blag...not as my avatar.....butterfly guy isn't near as cute as my george or patrick or johnny~ :D

Just_Lin said...

Michael Haiti has an interesting history. I'm not interested in the voodoo thing, though, or any other religion with rituals that require animal sacrifice. There is a well known 'ville' there named after one of the rebels that kicked the French out. My grandfather came from France and had the same last name (my maiden name). Hmmmmm....

Michael said...

J/L... was ur maiden name Thénardier?


I am into vegetarian voodoo myself...we only sacrifice veggies...like Shirleys tomato...

Michael said...

come to think of it...don't all religions sacrifice lambs?

something I recall about having to be washed in the blood of a lamb and smearing some over ya door...and drinking blood and eating bones....

GOOD god-a-mighty!!

Just_Lin said...

Michael Nope not that name.

Thank goodness they don't have need to do that lamb thing anymore.

Michael said...

They don't NEED to do anything other than accept Jesus and love their fellow man....

Tina~in_ut said...

Or woman!!!!!

Michael said...

Galatians 3:28

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Michael said...

did yall see the pic Chris Brown posted on the internet of himself in that skin tight green lyra spandex thing....

Very nasty....yuk...but while everyone else focused on the obvious I was looking at his calves...lol...I have wondered...why is it that most black guys have piernas de una gallina (chicken legs) ?

Shirley(NCC-1701) said...

Excuse me Michael, but my avatar is NOT a tomato. It is a poppy we wear in remembrance of veterans who served or are serving are country. Some of whom lost their lives so that we would have are freedom. For Canada Remembrance Day is November 11th. This will be my avatar until then.

Dianne/Denver said...

Interesting blog....thanks Tina. BTW, you forgot to tell me snow was coming...we are having a snow day today. All the schools are closed.

It is our second Wednesday in a row of snow so I am over it for awhile now. I wanted fall to last longer

ZONA: Are you getting all your errands done and eating out today? I hope you try that pumpkin cheesecake!!!!! If you don't like it, mail it to me.

Good Afternoon SHIRLEY AND MICHAEL. MICHAEL, you are full of more interesting information to add to the blog.

SHIRLEY: It's time to get rid of that food in the kitchen. It is smelling a little rank today. I will call the cleaning company to come in and clean. They will be working on your room too as it has some strange things left over from Halloween in there. I miss your sunshine avatar.

J/L: Area 51: No my brother has no pets---thank goodness. Today the hotel started up his car and cleaned all the snow off for him..nice touch for the Residence Inn.

Well, guess we will have some chili for dinner on this cold winter day. It had better be nice tomorrow as one day in the house is plenty for me.

Michael said...

veterans who are country? What about the ones that are citified?