The Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ isn’t actually as scary as it sounds! It is a multi-day holiday celebrated in Mexico and other places around the world where family and friends gather to pray and remember those that have passed. Although it is sad to remember loved ones no longer with us, it’s also amazing to celebrate their lives and remember the fun times, this is what Day of the Dead is all about! I’m sure you’ve seen the decorative calavera (skull) paintings and decorations around, right? Most commonly known now as ‘sugar skulls’ they are decorated with bright colours, gems/sequins and flowers in honour of the celebration.
So, what is the history of Day of the Dead?!
“Day of the Dead originated several thousand years ago with the Aztec, Toltec, and other Nahua people, who considered mourning the dead disrespectful… The dead were still members of the community, kept alive in memory and spirit… Today’s Día de los Muertos celebration is a mash-up of pre-Hispanic religious rites and Christian feasts.”
What types of costumes and decoration are used?!
Day of the Dead is a very social holiday! People of all ages dress as skeletons with painted faces and fill the streets at all hours through the day and night. “You’ve probably seen this beautiful Mexican paper craft plenty of times in stateside Mexican restaurants… Artisans stack coloured tissue paper in dozens of layers, then perforate the layers with hammer and chisel points… It is then draped around altars and in the streets, the art represents the wind and the fragility of life.”
What type of food do they eat?!
You work up a mighty hunger traveling from the spirit world to the realm of the living, at least that’s the traditional belief in Mexico. As a result food plays a large part in the celebrations with many traditional dishes being served. Day of the Dead cookies are a big hit and I don’t know about you but I think these would be so tasty with a traditional oaxacan hot chocolate.
A range of other Mexican food can be enjoyed such as pan-roasted chicken breasts with mole negro, black bean burgers with lime & coriander, meatballs, candied pumpkin, chilli BBQ prawns and chicken tamales with tomatillo-cilantro salsa…yum!
Lucky for you lovely lot, we have some of these tasty Mexican recipes on our website. Why don’t you go check them out and have your own Day of the Dead celebration at home?