In 2017, the festival was the inspiration of a famous Disney animation movie – Coco.
The Day of the Dead (El Día de Muertos)
What is the day of the dead? It is a festival that unites pre-Hispanic culture and the Catholic religion. The Mexican origins of this ceremony emerged some three thousand years ago in the Mexica, Purépecha and Totonaca ethnic groups.
The ancestors celebrated two festivals at different times of the year:
– Miccalihui Tontli: dedicated to the small deceased.
– Ueymicaihuitl: dedicated to adult spirits.
When the Spanish colonizers arrived in America, they crossed out these celebrations as pagan and as part of the evangelization of the new world they introduced their own customs to remember the deceased. In the 9th century, the church chose November 1 for the souls of children and November 2 for adults.
For the natives, these days mean the return of the souls of the deceased to live with them and taste the essence of the food that is put in the offerings to welcome them.
What day do the dead arrive?
In some regions of Mexico the celebration of the Day of the Dead begins a little earlier depending on the area
According to beliefs, the dead arrive every 12 hours daily, between October 28 and November 2. At the end of the visits, the altars are raised
The celebration of the Day of the Dead is one of the oldest and most representative traditions in Mexico.
Currently, many families keep this custom alive, although it is a day that is celebrated throughout the country, each of the 32 states has its distinctive for this holiday
The importance of offerings for the Day of the Dead
The altar or also called “ofrenda” is an important element for the celebration of the Day of the Dead and is a sign of affection and reverence for the loved ones who passed away. The offering is the reunion with a ritual that calls for memories.
Its main function is to welcome the spirits with elements such as flowers, and guide them to the house of their loved ones with the light of candles. Each of these elements has a meaning that makes this tradition so unique in the world.
When is the Day of the Dead 2020 celebrated?
On November 1 and 2, Mexicans welcomed their loved ones who passed away to feel them, even for a few hours, close again.
The Day of the Dead 2020 will be different. In a year marked by the coronavirus pandemic, in which social isolation and distance became the key to a new normal, this celebration – which used to be a occasion to gathering and celebrating -will have to change.
But that doesn’t mean we should get rid of these deeply rooted and traditional customs, but rather, we should be more informally grateful, with those closest to us, and bring out our creativity and feelings.
So many families in Mexico have prepared offerings and altars for the Day of the Dead and have placed them inside their homes since October 31st. In this way, they get ready on November 1 – when the spirit of the children are remembered – and on November 2, when the dead adults are remembered. The Day of the Dead (El Día de Muertos) 2020 is celebrated with offerings and cempasúchil flower. In short, this is a whole party with the best decoration and the best food to welcome those who passed away.