Day of the Dead November 1st.

day-of-the-dead-skull-with-hands.jpg It may seem rather strange to some people to have a day for dead people. It isn’t strange at all to people of Hispanic heritage. You should know that this celebration started hundreds of years ago with the Aztecs. They devoted a whole month to the “Lady of the Dead.” It took place during what is now the last half of July and the first half of August. It was a time when they remembered the children who had died.

2 When Spanish priests came to Mexico, they tried to make changes in this celebration. The first thing they did was to cut the ritual down to two days. They tried to move the days to the same time as All Hallows Eve. You might recognize this day as Halloween. The Mexican natives weren’t too thrilled about turning their celebration into a Catholic celebration. A compromise was reached and Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is now celebrated on the first two days of November.

3 The celebration has combined a bit of the early traditions with some of the Christian features the priests were teaching. Mexicans do not treat this day as a sad day. They use it as a way to celebrate the lives of those who have left them.

4 There are generally two kinds of celebrations held. One day may be spent at the cemetery where their loved one is buried. Picnic lunches are packed. The family sets to work cleaning up the gravesites of their relatives. They socialize with other family members and members of the community. They tell stories about the departed family member. They spread their picnic lunches out over the ground. Meat dishes with spicy sauces and chocolate beverages are a special favorite. Best of all are the cookies. These cookies are shaped like bones and skulls. They are decorated in bright colored icing. There is a special bread called pan de muerto. The gravesite is then decorated with large, bright flowers. Gifts to show how he or she is missed are left. Religious tokens and food are common gifts. Everyone has a good time. It is felt that this is a good way to recognize the natural cycle of life and death.

5 A celebration is also held in the home. The spirits of departed family and friends are invited to attend. Family members decorate an altar which represents the departed member. Personal items which belonged to the dead person, photographs of the person, and clothing that belonged to the person are displayed. Flowers and food are displayed. The family hopes that what they put out will tempt the souls of the dead to return and celebrate with them.

6 Traditionally, the first day of November is used to remember the children who have died. The second day is used for remembering adults.

7 Today it seems that this celebration has been simplified in the larger cities. The smaller towns tend to have more of a full celebration. Bakeries in southern Mexico stop producing their regular baked goods to produce a special rounded loaf of bread. Inside the bread is a plastic skeleton. It is good luck to find the skeleton in your piece of bread. Cookies shaped like skeletons are a treat all children enjoy.

8 In the larger cities, Day of the Dead has become just another holiday on which to enjoy good food and parties. The smaller communities have held on to the religious traditions of the days. The Day of the Dead is a time for joy. It is a time to remember the good times those once living enjoyed.

Blog about what you have learned about the day of the Dead.

8 responses

  1. prince

    I learned on the Day of the Dad you can decorate the graves you can make bread with skeletons insid. People can goto the cemetary and decorate the graves with flowers. in you can dack a rate oun people cemetary
    I think this i s a good to remember people

    October 22, 2007 at 1:28 pm

  2. chanelle

    The story was about day of dead november 1st the lady went to the cemetary
    and she celebrate the dead body and how she celebrate is she put flowers on the grave. They bake skeleton cookies and bread with skeletons in them. This is a spanish HOliday from Mexico

    October 22, 2007 at 1:30 pm

  3. dashayscott

    They celebrate dead people and bake coookies and mexico to. AND THEY CELE BATE DEAD PPEOPLE AND BE KIN D . IT IS A TIME TO REMEMBER THE GOOD TIMES THOES ONCE LIVING ENJOYED. I LEARND A BOUT THE Day of dead Iam sad that all them people dead. Inow that you could mack bread out of.

    October 22, 2007 at 1:31 pm

  4. casseem

    On NOVEMBER first they celebrate the day for the kids to remember. On NOVEMBER 2nd they celebrate the day for adults to remember.

    October 22, 2007 at 1:31 pm

  5. Romello

    When Spanish priests came to Mexico, they tried to make changes in this celebration. It is felt that this is a good way to recognize the natural cycle of life and death.In the larger cities, Day of the Dead has become just another holiday on which to enjoy good food and parties. A celebration is also held in the home.Traditionally, the first day of November is used to remember the children who have died. The second day is used for remembering adults.It may seem rather strange to some people to have a day for dead people. It isn’t strange at all to people of Hispanic heritage.
    my uncle died before I seen him. now I celebrate my grandma told me that he loves to draw so I draw a lot of pictures then type it to his crave my grandma bake cookies like a heart and in the midle its skeletons.

    October 22, 2007 at 1:33 pm

  6. daniel

    they have picnics to celebrate the day of the dead .
    they put a skeleton in brad.
    they make skeleton cokes.

    October 22, 2007 at 1:33 pm

  7. marc

    They celebate dead people and it is a time to remember the good times those once living enjoyed

    October 22, 2007 at 1:34 pm

  8. justin

    He is a good wrestler. thank you for coming.to our school my favorite wrestler is the boggy man.

    October 22, 2007 at 1:54 pm

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