Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day of the Dead

Calavera I
(El Día de los Muertos is traditionally celebrated on November 2 in honor of the
dead. “Calaveras” or skulls are spooky poems or songs for the Day of the

Por aquí pasa la muerte
Con su aguja y su dedal
Remendando sus naguas
Para el día del carnaval.

Here pass the souls of the dead
with needle and thimble
mending their skirts
for the day of the dead.

The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos in Spanish) is a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage (and others) living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November, in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day which take place on those days.

Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years, and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl (known in English as "The Lady of the Dead").

Similar holidays are celebrated in many parts of the world; for example, it is a public holiday in Brazil, where many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray to their loved ones who have died. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe and in the Philippines, and

similarly-themed celebrations
appear in many Asian and African cultures.

***Please visit all the other Dia de Bloglandia


glorv1 said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I love how you placed your figures near the door for a ready entrance. Great idea.

Gillian said...

Your entry is beautiful Yoli!!
Great job. I love the use of light...candle light is wonderful.

rochambeau said...

Hi Yoli,
Thank you for all you have shared here about this great day. You have taught me much. For years I have admired the celebration, as it is important to remember and celebrate the ones you love.

Your alter at the door is creative unique, beautiful and so YOU!!

Happy Dia de los Muertos to you friend!


PLO said...

I love the visitor at your is the same color as my front door, and I had to look see if he was at MY front door!

GeNeRaCiOn AsErE said...

Hola Yoli,

Un acto lindo, el celebrar a quienes viven a través de nosotros mismos… La muerte me da muchísimo miedo desde niño, debe ser por aquello que dice Epicuro,
“La muerte es una quimera: porque mientras yo existo, no existe la muerte; y cuando existe la muerte, ya no existo yo”.
De alguna forma podemos revelarnos contra el hecho de morir, si nos atrevemos a celebrar con tremendo cariño, la vida de quienes ya se han ido.
Abrazon de la pandilla y de tony .

Sacred Yoli said...

Hola Yoli. (super cool name, by the way)
Great blog, I have been traveling through bloglandia in and out, all dia. This journey has been very inspiring and touching.

Yoli Manzo

thethinkingwoman said...

What an excellent blog you have here! Thank you for pointing out that many cultures have traditions that allow the living to reach out to loved ones who have passed. So important to keep our similarities in mind.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's nice to meet you!

-- JeriAnn

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

It is interesting to learn a little more about the history of the celebration. Thank you for sharing! And I do so like your Dia de Bloglandia offering :-)

susanna said...

I like your illustration, Yoli. I had no idea that this event was celebrated in Spain...although that does make sense as it's a mix between native and catholic beliefs.
Thank you for participating.

A Cuban In London said...

Thanks for this lovely post. I have some Mexican friends who celebrate this day here in GB.

Greetings from London.

kris said...

you are soooo cool... love your use of the candles :)

Stephanie said...

Yoli, this is lovely! Thank you for all the information about how this is celebrated in other countries I have been wondering about that.

Thank you too! for joining the Dia de Bloglandia celebration!


operationtigerlily said...

I boyght a few day of the dead pieces last time I was in Mexico. I love mine and hate to put them away.

Tami said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.
Loved your post - beautiful and informative. Thank you for sharing.

Juliette said...

Very nice altar full of colour and life and light to celebrate the deaths.
It's a beautiful tradition!

'A Tuscan view.....from Umbria' said...

I love the idea of the souls slipping under the door and the little rhyme.
This a wonderful celebration of Dia de los Muertos and fascinating to learn more about it's history. Thank you for the kind words on our blog. best wishes amanda

PJ said...

I like your skulls! Thanks for stopping in and commenting... so a fencer? I have to admit I've never 'met' anyone that did that! How interesting- Of course, maybe you haven't met a school bus driver either ;)

Anonymous said...

just beautiful!!! thank you so much for sharing!!!

tangobaby said...

I did not know about the Dia de Bloglandia but I felt very fortunate to participate in the Dia de los Muertes procession here in San Francisco yesterday.

It was a wonderful and joyous event. It was so much more than I could have imagined. I hope that your day was lovely too.

Marilyn said...

I'm so happy to learn more about this special day by visiting blog. Thank you. What a welcoming sight your entry is--I love it!

Laume said...

Strolling in late for the celebration. What a sweet wee paper skeleton. I don't believe I've ever stumbled upon your blog, glad to have found it. It looks like there's lot to come back and visit again. Love your blog banner image. Is the wee little monkey in your sidebar your daughter? Son? I just put up a video on my blog of my dancing monkey granddaughter from Halloween. Adorable little m
onkeys everywhere!