A SMART WAY TO TRAVEL
SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE PROMOTIONS! CLICK HERE
If this quote demonstrates anything, it is that the Mexican culture has a unique and intimate relationship with death, a relationship not much of the rest of the world truly understands.
Dating back to pre-hispanic time, the native cultures that inhabited Mexico and Central America actively practiced a ritual that appeared to mock death. There relationship with fatality was not at all like the Europeans, a group of people that saw death as merely the end of life. For the natives, it was nothing more than a stage, a passage to something else.
Although the Spanish attempted to eradicate this ritual, among other practices, this particular practice survived and eventually became engrained into North and Central American Catholicism. It has been carried throughout many years and it is celebrated today.
November 1st and 2nd are the two days in which Mexico celebrates The Day of the Dead or Día de Muertos. Although it is celebrated about the same time as Halloween, Day of the Dead originates from a different notion. Halloween comes from an ancient Celtic celebration to ward off evil spirits that are trying to enter the natural world whereas Day of the Dead is merriment and honors and welcomes the spirits of loved ones that have passed. Those that celebrate Halloween wear masks and costumes to scare away the evil spits and those that celebrate Day of the Dead offer beautiful floral arrangements, sweets and food to the spirits in a much more hospitable manner.
The colors alone during Day of the Dead celebrations are beautiful but when it all comes together, the festivities, the smells, the sights and sounds; it is something every traveler must see at least once. A lot of skulls and skeletons are used as decorative purposes and to those of who are not familiar with this particular celebration, it can appear to be morbid. But the skeletal figures represent the mysteries and complexities of both death and birth and are not meant to be at all morose. Often the colors of purple, yellow, white, orange, red and pink are mixed together in all of the festivities décor and all colors carry a unique representation.
· Purple = pain, suffering and grief
· Yellow = Often represented in the flower, Marigolds, represent death and the petals are used to make paths to guide the souls home.
· White = Like many other cultures, white represents purity and hope.
· Red = The blood of life, something that sustains the human body and soul.
· Pink = celebration
Although it is celebrated in some areas of the United States and Central America, Day of the Dead is something that is primarily celebrated throughout the entire country of Mexico. From the northern-pacific regions of Baja California to the Yucatan Peninsula, November 1st and 2nd is an extraordinary time to visit, a time in which an age-old tradition comes to life in celebration of death in a very unique and joyful way.
YH Quick Giveaway Questions
1. Who is the author of the quote mentioned at the beginning of the post? Mention one book written by this author.
2. What American celebration is related to or similar to the Day of the Dead?
3. When do Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead?
4. Name the difference between the way Halloween and Day of the Dead is celebrated.
5. Share a personal opinion on the way Mexicans celebrate the dead. Do you like it or dislike it?
About the Author
Kristin McCollum is a travel writer that has spent the past year traveling and working throughout Europe and Mexico. Now settled on theYucatan Peninsula, she finds inspiration in every person she meets and in the natural beauty which surrounds her. Follow Kristin on Twitter.