Thursday, November 01, 2007

Día de los Muertos

Happy Day of the Dead, everybody!

On November 1st and 2nd, Mexicans celebrate their dead relatives and friends. They gather in cemeteries and hang out there for hours, picnicking and reminiscing. They decorate home altars, prepare elaborate meals, make a special bread ("pan de muerto"), and make candies in skull shapes.

The holiday is derived from an Aztec celebration, but the Spanish later moved it to early November to coincide with the Christian holiday of All Saints Day. The modern celebration seems to draw heavily from Christian traditions, with lots of crosses and Blessed Virgin Mary imagery.

I think this is a cool tradition, though the skull-shaped stuff really creeps me out.