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The Coyote Caller

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Photo Gallery: Soccer vs. Northwest, May 9, 2024
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Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos

Desfile+del+d%C3%ADa+de+muertos+en+CDMX+2018%3B+CC+BY-SA+4.0
Poloide93 via Wikimedia Commons
Desfile del día de muertos en CDMX 2018; CC BY-SA 4.0

If you’ve ever seen decorative and colorful skulls decorated with flowers and animals, you’ve seen an iconic symbol of the Mexican and other Central American countries’ holiday Dia De Los Muertos. Otherwise known as calaveras (Spanish for “skull”), sugar skulls are often edible or decorative skulls made from sugar (Alfeñiques) or clay.

What is Dia De Los Muertos?

According to the website https://dayofthedead.holiday/, “Day of the Dead is a 2-day celebration where it is believed that the passageway between the real world and the spirit world is open so our deceased loved ones can come back to visit us. What do we do when grandpa comes back from the land of the dead? We make his favorite meal and we offer him his favorite drink. We sing, dance, and rejoice before he heads back to the underworld for another year.

“It is said that on November 1st the children who have passed come back to visit and celebrate as angelitos and on the following day, November 2nd, it’s the adults (Difuntos) turn to show up for the festivities.”

What is the history of Dia De Los Muertos?

The Spanish conquered Mexico, introducing their religion of Catholicism to the people. The Spanish blended their traditions and beliefs with the Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl, the “lady of the dead.” She is believed to watch over the bones of the dead.

While the Catholic Church turned Nov. 1 into All Saints’ Day and Nov. 2 into All Souls’ Day, Mexicans have made these two days into Dia De Los Muertos.

How do people celebrate Dia De Los Muertos?

Families gather at night in cemeteries to light candles and place flowers on the graves of their loved ones. It is truly a celebration. The dead are the closest to the living at this time. The celebrants bring their loved ones’ favorite foods in the belief that the dead can eat and drink along with the living. The calaveras are placed on the altars. People paint their faces in the style of la catrinas (skeletons) with flowers. An essential food is Pan de Muertos, or Bread of the Dead. Pan de Muertos is placed on altar along with the calaveras and other food.

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