Today’s post was written by Amanda Lasker, Gossypia
This is All Souls Day, November 1 and 2, in the Roman Catholic and many other Christian religions. In Mexico it is a very important time to remember, with love and reverence, one’s family and friends who have passed away. Through the centuries a lot of interesting and beautiful folk art has been developed for this holiday. On this day, Mexicans build altars in their homes and other venues in memory of deceased loved ones. Many spend the night in cemeteries where family members are buried. They decorate with beautiful flowers, especially marigolds, serve a special bread “pan de muertos”, delicious tamales, and a favorite drink at this time is atole, a native hot corn drink, with a “pench”.
Worth noting: many of the skeletons you see portrayed in the folk art are from the works of the famous 19th Century printmaker and lithographer, Jose Guadalupe Posada (he deserves a blog all to himself).
Some Mexicans have become fearful of Halloween overtaking the meaning of Dia de los Muertos, they call it that “gringo thing”.
Death is looked at in a very different way in Mexico. Deceased loved ones are thought of continually in everyday life. They are revered as are the elderly who usually live with their families until the very end, and seem to continue to be present, especially on the “Dia de los Muertos”.