day of the dead

Topics: Day of the Dead, Life, Death Pages: 3 (960 words) Published: November 27, 2013

Julissa Lopez
Anthro 105
11/13/2013

“Dias de los Muertos” the day the deceased have divine permission to visit friend and relatives on earth and to share the pleasure of the living (Sayer, Chloë 8). The day of the dead is celebrated on November 1& 2 of every year known to be as All Souls Day. Introduced in the Mexican population by their Aztec indigenous ancestry known not to be afraid of death but to embrace it. Meso-American Indians have strong belief of the afterlife and the underworld that came after death. The day of the dead is celebrated by giving “ofrendas” offerings to the dead on “altares” or alter. This dates back to when Mesoamerican’s would bury their death with pottery, weapons and food for their journey to the underworld. This tradition passed on from generations to generations still being celebrated in all Hispanic Communities.

The assimilation of the teaching of the Catholic priest and Native Aztec population during time of conquest and this clash of religious and spiritual energies was inevitable. The day of the dead in Aztec calendar coincided with the day of the dead with the Catholic Church. The Aztec would celebrate the dead for months before Spaniards overthrew them. Aztecs believed it would take months to journey to Mitlan the underworld place of the dead where souls would finally rest. Catholics would mourn their death for “a novena” equivalent to nine days where they would pray for the soul to pass the heavenly gates and pray for the soul forgiveness.

(Traditional Mexican cemetery lighten up by candles and ofrendas on tombstones.) The day of the dead is to remember ones loved one passed away a great family reunion holding on to their memories and having them live among the living one day/night of the year. A bright celebration with flowers of the dead named marigold “cempoales”. Bread, water, candles and skull shapes of all colors adorn the tombstones. Copal the...
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