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Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos or All Souls' Day)

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Author Topic: Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos or All Souls' Day)  (Read 2595 times)
Juan Carlos Mendoza
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« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2009, 04:35:28 pm »



Catrinas, one of the most popular figures of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico
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Juan Carlos Mendoza
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« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2009, 04:36:07 pm »



"Gran calavera eléctrica" (Grand electric skull) by José Guadalupe Posada, 1900-1913. Digitally restored.
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Juan Carlos Mendoza
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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2009, 04:36:47 pm »



Pan de muerto, traditionally eaten on the holiday
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Juan Carlos Mendoza
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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2009, 04:37:29 pm »

Observances outside Mexico

In many US communities with peoples from Mexico, Day of the Dead celebrations are held, very similar to those held in Mexico. In some of these communities, such as in Texas[4] and Arizona,[5] the celebrations tend to be mostly traditional. For example, the All Souls' Procession has been an annual Tucson event since 1990. The event combines elements of traditional Dia de los Muertos celebrations with those of pagan harvest festivals. People wearing masks carry signs honoring the dead and an urn in which people can put slips of paper with prayers on them to be burned.[6]
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Juan Carlos Mendoza
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« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2009, 04:37:48 pm »

In other communities, interactions between Mexican traditions and American culture are resulting in celebrations in which Mexican traditions are being extended to make artistic or sometimes political statements. For example, in Los Angeles, California, the Self Help Graphics & Art Mexican-American cultural center presents an annual Day of the Dead celebration, that includes both traditional and political elements, such as altars to honor the victims of the Iraq War highlighting the high casualty rate among Latino soldiers. An updated, inter-cultural version of the Day of the Dead is also evolving at a cemetery near Hollywood.[7] There, in a mixture of Mexican traditions and Hollywood hip, conventional altars are set up side-by-side with altars to Jayne Mansfield and Johnny Ramone. Colorful native dancers and music intermix with performance artists, while sly pranksters play on traditional themes.
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Juan Carlos Mendoza
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« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2009, 04:38:01 pm »

Similar traditional and inter-cultural updating of Mexican celebrations is occurring in San Francisco, for example through the Galería de la Raza, SomArts Cultural Center, Mission Cultural Center, de Young Museum and Garfield Square. In Oakland at the Oakland Museum and with classes in the ancient art of Cartoneria at The Crucible, a local arts education center, and in Missoula, Montana, where skeletal celebrants on stilts, novelty bicycles, and skis parade through town.[8] It also occurs annually at historic Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Sponsored by Forest Hills Educational Trust and the folkloric performance group La Piñata, the Day of the Dead celebration celebrates the cycle of life and death. People bring offerings of flowers, photos, mementos, mentos, and food for their departed loved ones which they place at an elaborately and colorfully decorated altar. A program of traditional music and dance also accompanies the community event.
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Juan Carlos Mendoza
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« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2009, 04:38:44 pm »



Day of the Dead altar in Atlanta in memory of Jennifer Ann Crecente, murdered at the age of 18 by her ex-boyfriend.
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Juan Carlos Mendoza
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« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2009, 04:39:50 pm »



San Francisco's annual Day of the Dead celebration, Garfield Square.
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Juan Carlos Mendoza
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« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2009, 04:40:37 pm »



A Day of the Dead altar in Los Angeles pays homage to "dead" (cancelled) television shows, with traditional marigolds, sugar skulls and candles.
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Juan Carlos Mendoza
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« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2009, 04:41:02 pm »

Europe and elsewhere

Observance of a Mexican-style Day of the Dead has spread to Europe as well. In Prague, Czech Republic, for example, local citizens celebrate the Day of the Dead with masks, candles, and sugar skulls.[9] Mexican-style Day of the Dead celebrations can also be found in Wellington, New Zealand, complete with altars celebrating the deceased with flowers and gifts.[10]
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Juan Carlos Mendoza
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« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2009, 04:41:25 pm »

Latin America

Guatemalan celebrations of the Day of the Dead are highlighted by the construction and flying of giant kites[11] in addition to the traditional visits to gravesites of ancestors. A big event also is the consumption of fiambre that is made only for this day during the year.[12]
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Juan Carlos Mendoza
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« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2009, 04:41:38 pm »

In Ecuador, the Day of the Dead is observed to some extent by all parts of society, though it is especially important to the indigenous Kichwa peoples who make up an estimated quarter of the population. Indigena families gather together in the community cemetery with offerings of food for a day-long remembrance of their ancestors and lost loved ones. Ceremonial foods include colada morada, a spiced fruit porridge that derives its deep purple color from the Andean blackberry and purple maize. This is typically consumed with guagua de pan, a bread shaped like a swaddled infant, though variations include horses and pigs — the latter being traditional to the city of Loja. The bread, which is wheat flour-based today but was made with cornmeal in the pre-Columbian era can be made savory with cheese inside, or sweet with a filling of guava paste. These traditions have permeated into mainstream society as well, where food establishments add both colada morada and gaugua de pan to their menus for the season. Many non-indigenous Ecuadorians partake in visiting the graves of the deceased and preparing the traditional foods as well.
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Juan Carlos Mendoza
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« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2009, 04:41:55 pm »

The Brazilian public holiday of "Finados" (Day of the Dead) is celebrated on November 2. Similar to other Day of the Dead celebrations, people go to cemeteries and churches, with flowers, candles, and prayer. The celebration is intended to be positive, to celebrate those who are deceased.

In Haiti, voodoo traditions mix with Roman Catholic Day of the Dead observances, as, for example, loud drums and music are played at all-night celebrations at cemeteries to waken Baron Samedi, the Loa of the dead, and his mischievous family of offspring, the Gede.
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« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2009, 04:42:11 pm »

Dia de los ñatitas (Day of the Skulls) is a festival celebrated in La Paz, Bolivia on November 9. In pre-Columbian times, indigenous Andeans had a tradition of sharing a day with the bones of their ancestors on the third year after burial, however only the skulls are used today. Traditionally, the skull of one or more family members are kept at home to watch over the family and protect them during the year. On November 9, the family crowns the skull with fresh flowers, sometimes also dressing it up in various garments, and makes offerings of cigarettes, coca leaves, alcohol, and various other items in thanks for the year's protection. The skulls are also sometimes taken to the central cemetery in La Paz for a special mass and blessing.[13][14][15]
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Juan Carlos Mendoza
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« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2009, 04:42:51 pm »

Asia

In the Philippines, the holiday is Araw ng mga Patay (Day of the Dead), Todos Los Santos or Undas (the latter two due to the fact that this holiday is celebrated on November 1, All Saints Day), and has more of a "family reunion" atmosphere.[16] Tombs are cleaned or repainted, candles are lit, and flowers are offered. Entire families camp in cemeteries, and sometimes spend a night or two near their relatives' tombs. Card games, eating, drinking, singing and dancing are common activities in the cemetery. It is considered a very important holiday by many Filipinos (after Christmas and Holy Week), and additional days are normally given as special non-working holidays (but only November 1 is a regular holiday).
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