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Day of the Dead / Día de los muertos

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Laura Quinonez

on 2 November 2012

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Transcript of Day of the Dead / Día de los muertos

What is Day of the Dead?
Día de los muertos A traditional mexican holiday honoring the dead
It is not a sad time, but a time of remembering and rejoicing
Celebrated at the same time as Halloween through November 2nd (All Saints Day and All Souls Day)
Where is Day of the Dead celebrated?
Central and South America
strong Latino population
U.S. - Texas, California
Large influence of the and Mexican American heritage TRADITIONS Families adorn homes with "ofrendas" or "altars"
pictures of the deceased
something to snack on
items they were fond of
late afternoon special all night burning candles are lit TRADITION: Food

Hot chocolate Bread of the Dead
Pan de muertos TRADITION: Flowers
Las flores Marigolds symbolize the short duratation of life
Other flower used for the enticement of the returning spirits
White amaryllis
Wild orchids
baby's breath
ruby coxcombs
Wreaths of flowers are placed on grave sites TRADITION: Perforated Paper
Papel picado Traditional art used as decoration for the homes, business, and markets and altars in preparation for the altars
Thin tissue paper images are cut in large quantaties in a repetitious pattern TRADITION: Skeletons
Las calacas Hand made skeleton figurines called CALACAS
Represent a joyful and active afterlife
Figures include
Generals on horseback
Skeletal brides marcing down the isle with their skeletal groom TRADITION: Skulls
Las calaveras Death and Rebirth
Skulls were kept as trophies and used for rituals during the Aztec and Mesoamerican civilization
Honor the Dead
Grinning skulls - laughing at death
Made out of paper, wood, paper mache, tin or sugar TRADITION: CANDLES / LAS VELAS Common colors are purple (pain), white (hope), pink (celebration)
Placed in the four cardinal points (making a cross) TRADITION: Candles Las velas Common colors for candles
Purple (pain)
White (hope)
Pink (celebration)
Light used to illuminate path for the dead as they return
Each candle represents a departed soul TRADITION: Incence (Copal) Used to attract the souls
Special and expensive (Puebla)
The whiter the better
Last item on the altar TRADITION: Masks
Las mascaras A person can become another person, dead or alive
Today, many indigenous people use them as they are needed for rituals and dance peformances
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