Día de Muertos

 

Día de Muertos (or Day of the Dead) is a celebration that takes place in Mexico since pre-Columbian times with the intention of honoring the loved ones who have died. It takes place on November 2nd to honor the adults who have perished and November 1st(generally referred to as Día de los Angelitos, or Day of the Little Angels) celebrates the children who died too early. This celebration is of great importance in Mexico and has been declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.

As part of the tradition, on this day many people visit their loved ones in the cemetery and create altars with flowers, gifts and food and objects that were their favorite when they were still alive. The reason for creating these altars is to help guide the person who died to the time and space where he or she belongs and support their families and friends to find relief in the loss and mourning that they’re going through.

Día de Muertos has its origin in pre-Columbian times, when it was held in early August for a whole month and the festivities were dedicated to children and relatives who were deceased and presided by the goddess Mictecacíhuatl, which was also known as the “Lady of death “. Nowadays she is associated with “La Catrina, figure created by illustrator and caricaturist José Guadalupe Posada whose name is derived from a work by Diego Rivera.

With the arrival of the Spaniards the festivity was adapted to coincide with two Christian holidays, All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day, and the date changed from August to November. The altars were also subject to the influence of the Spanish, since items such as candles, bread of the dead, sugar skulls, incense, confetti and portraits of the deceased were incorporated.

 

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El día de muertos es una celebración que se lleva a cabo en México desde épocas precolombinas con la intención de honrar a los seres queridos que han fallecido. Se celebra el día 2 de noviembre honrando a los adultos que han perecido y el 1 de noviembre a los niños que murieron precozmente (generalmente conocido como Día de los Inocentes). Esta celebración es de gran importancia en México y ha sido declarado Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial de la Humanidad por la UNESCO.

Como parte de la tradición de este día muchas personas visitan a los difuntos en el panteón y crean altares con flores, regalos y los alimentos y objetos que eran de su preferencia cuando seguían vivos. El motivo de estos altares es ayudar a encaminar a la persona que falleció hacia el tiempo y espacio que le corresponde y apoyar a los seres queridos que siguen vivos a encontrar alivio en la pérdida y el duelo por el que están pasando.

El día de muertos tiene orígenes desde la época precolombina, cuando se celebraba a inicios de agosto durante todo un mes y las festividades eran dedicadas a los niños y parientes que hacían fallecido y presididas por la diosa Mictecacíhuatl, que también era conocida como la “Dama de la Muerte”. Hoy en día es vinculada con La Catrina, figura creada por el ilustrador y caricaturista José Guadalupe Posada y bautizada por Diego Rivera.

Con la llegada de los españoles la celebración se adaptó a dos festividades cristianas, Día de los Fieles Difuntos y Día de Todos los Santos, y la fecha cambió de agosto a noviembre. Los altares también fueron sujetos a la influencia de los españoles, ya que se incorporaron elementos como las veladoras, el pan de muertos, calaveritas de azúcar, inciensos, papel picado y retratos de los difuntos.

Dia de Muertos

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