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Mexico's Day of the Dead - A Unique Celebration of Life

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Dana Monsour
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« on: October 31, 2010, 04:46:24 pm »

Holly Cara Price

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Posted: October 31, 2010 09:28 AM
      
Mexico's Day of the Dead - A Unique Celebration of Life

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is observed in Mexico on All Saints Day, November 1 and All Souls Day, November 2nd. Altars are lovingly decorated with photos of the deceased, their favorite foods and drinks, flowers and candy. Customs vary throughout different parts of Mexico, but the country as a whole faithfully celebrates the holiday.

The illustrator Josť Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) created the famous skeleton dressed as a high-society lady now known as La Catrina and universally recognized as the reigning queen of Dia de los Muertos.

The origins of this unique holiday can be traced back thousands of years to Aztec culture. There are also similar holidays in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.


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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2010, 04:47:31 pm »

La Catrina



La Catrina is the queen of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). In her fancy, colorful clothes and high society finery she reminds us that Death comes for us all in the end, no matter how rich and powerful we believe ourselves to be.

All photos (c) Holly Cara Price
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2010, 04:49:08 pm »

Sugar Skulls



Sugar Skulls (calaveras de azucar) are given as gifts and decorate Dia de los Muertos altars. The name of the deceased is on the skull's forehead.
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2010, 04:50:25 pm »

Candy Coffins



Coffins made of candy are also sold to celebrate the holiday.
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2010, 04:51:35 pm »

Candy Coffins and Sugar Skulls



Candy coffins, sugar skulls, and chilies.
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2010, 04:52:35 pm »

Halloween Pumpkin Candy



Symbols of Halloween are also present on Dia de los Muertos.
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2010, 04:53:39 pm »

Marigolds



Marigolds are known as the flower of the dead and liberally used on Dia de los Muertos altars. Their scent is said to attract the souls and draw them back home on this holiday where the wall between the worlds is at its thinnest.
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2010, 04:54:36 pm »

Tequila, Beer for the Afterlife



An altar which features the loved one's photo, as well as some libations for the afterlife.
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2010, 04:55:44 pm »

Food and Drink for the Deceased



This altar has tamales, fruits, coffee, beer, and pan de muertos (a special sweet bread made for Dia de los Muertos, decorated with bone like pieces on the outside).
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2010, 04:56:44 pm »

Dia de los Muertos Altar



This beautiful Dia de los Muertos altar is at Lu'um Kaa'nab in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2010, 04:57:43 pm »

Cross Made out of Marigolds



The sign of the cross in marigolds, surrounded by candles. To the left of the cross is a bowl with copal incense. Mayans have used it in their religious ceremonies since before the Spanish came to the Americas.
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Dana Monsour
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2010, 04:59:51 pm »

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