Customs vary throughout Mexico Most celebrations include: Decoration
Customs vary throughout Mexico Most celebrations include:
Decoration and family gathering at cemetery Special foods
Ofrendas (offerings) on altars Religious rites and prayers
Often there are fireworks! In many
regions, November 1 is dedicated
to the remembrance of deceased
infants and children
Adults are honored November 2
In mid-October markets begin displaying items needed for Dia de los Muertos including:
Skeletons (toys, figurines, sweets) Papel Picado
Floral wreaths and crosses Candles Fresh flowers
-cempazuchiles (marigolds) -barro de obispo (cockscomb) Sugar or chocolate skulls and
coffins Pan de muerto (bread of the dead)
Skeletons are often shown in everyday activities which depict a dead persons profession or interests. The calacas are often placed on altars. This shows the
spirit that he has not been forgotten. Papel Picado
Floral wreaths and crosses
Velas (Candles) Fresh
Flowers Pan de Muertos
Children are given sugar skulls with their names written on the forehead!
Altars in the home
*Altars have decorations: papel picado, candles, flowers, photographs of the departed, candy skulls with the name of the deceased *Altars have foods and drinks: bottles of beer or tequila, cups of atole (a sweet drink made of milk, sugar,
and corn starch) or coffee, pop (many families will sacrifice to purchase a favorite brand!) and fresh water, as well as platters of rice, beans, chicken or meat in mole sauce, candied pumpkin or sweet potatoes, fruits and breads.
Spirits return homethere they find many goodies they enjoyed while living
A wash basin and clean towel are placed on the altar for the spirit to freshen up after a long journey
Favorite foods and drinks Favorite cigarettes or cigars Toys and candy for spirits of deceased
children Atole de leche
Mole (pronounced mole-ay)
Bebidas (drinks) Tamales
The altar An area of the home is
cleared of furnishings Floors and walls are washed
A table is covered with clean sheets, a blanket, or tablecloth
Incense is usually burned Many candles are lit
Family members clean tombs and gravestones Pull weeds Tombs are painted and repaired if needed
Graves are decorated with flower crosses, wreaths, or floral arrangements
This young boy has returned from
the market with flowers for the
cemetery Procession to the cemetery
The army band participates in a local parade
Many towns have parades including processions on
horseback A group of msicos entertains at
the cemetery En el cementerio
Family members gather at the cemetery. They bring picnics and mariachi bands may play favorite songs.
Local restaurants set up food stands. An outdoor church service is usually held.
Customs Around the World In the USA, most people avoid talking about death
Many other cultures around the world have rituals for remembering loved ones.
Many other cultures have similar rituals involving the lighting of lamps or candles and laying
out food and drinks Even ancient Egyptians had similar traditions or
remembering loved ones Images and information taken
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