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Pressnews.biz (Press Release) Sep 18, 2014
-- Dia De Los Muertos - Origin and History
As a US citizen, you are sure to have heard about Mexican day of the dead - Dia de los Muertos http://mslrdiadelosmuertos.com/ . The festivities may remind you of Halloween. However, the difference lies in the fact that while the former celebrates death, the latter depicts it as something to be feared.
Little is known about the origin of this tradition. Records say that it was there in Mexico for centuries.
The Spaniards conquered Mexico 500 years back. Reports state that the people there belonged to several cultures before the conquest. The Olmec culture, the Mayan civilization and the Aztecs are just a few to mention in this regard. Despite the cultural differences, people in the area stayed connected through one festival; Dia de los muertos http://mslrdiadelosmuertos.com/ . They believed that death was a cycle; when someone dies, the soul goes into another form of existence. This created a situation where death began to be celebrated rather than feared.
The present day celibrations
To the Spaniards who conquered the region in 1521, this celebration appeared to be mocking death. They tried whatever they can to stop what they considered to be an uncivilized ritual. However, the ritual went on despite their best efforts.
Spaniards were able to introduce a few changes. Catholic beliefs were incorporated into the ritual. Consequently, the one-month celebration which used to be from the beginning of August to the end of the month was shortened to just to two days; on November 1st and 2nd. These, according to the Catholics are the “All Saints Day” and the “Day of the Dead.” Even the name of the Goddess in honor of whom the celebration was organized got changed from goddess Mictecacihuatl to Lady Catrina. The rituals still remain almost the same with slight differences from region to region.
As mentioned above, Dia de los muertos honoured the dead. They did the following to celebrate the occasion.
• Preparation: The Dia de los muertos celebration is a two-day event; 1st and the 2nd of November. However, preparations start well in advance; 2-3 weeks before the occasion. Different forms of arts representing death in some or the other way begin appearing in the market. A particular type of delicacy known as pan de muerto is an item particular to the auspicious occasion. It is sweet bread decorated with forms resembling the bones of the dead. You can get all sorts of candies and toys during the season. The celebration is a real boost to the economy of the nation.
• The festivities: On the eve of November 1st, they morn for the deceased children. The evening is called the “night of mourning.” At night, the entire region goes to the cemetery as a candlelight procession. They believe that the spirits of the deceased come back in the morning. All families visit the cemetery of their ancestors taking everything their loved ones liked to enjoy. They spend the entire day near the graves decorating them. In the evening, they come back, prepare an altar, decorate it with flowers and pray for their ancestors.
There may be different interpretations of this celebration. However, with all its seemingly crude nature, it stands for the undying spirits of the Aztec Civilization.
Visit this year Day of the Dead http://mslrdiadelosmuertos.com/ at Mission San Luis Rey at Oceanside, CA at October 26 – Sunday 10 am to 05 pm. All information’s available at official website http://mslrdiadelosmuertos.com/ .
Contact Person: Maureen Sullivan
E-mail: [email protected]
Old Mission San Luis Rey de Francia
Address: 4050 Mission Avenue, Oceanside, CA 92057
Tel/Fax: (760) 757-3651