Day of the Dead
Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is one of Mexico's traditional holidays reuniting and honoring beloved ancestors, family and friends. It is a day for honoring our beloved ones.
The altar, also called an "Ofrenda," is the focal point to observing the Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). It is constructed in the home and/or at the gravesite or business establishment. Entire families construct altars as an annual commitment. Beginning in mid-October, children and adults prepare to welcome the souls of their dead relatives and loved ones, who return home at this time each year to make sure all is well and that they have not been forgotten.
Traditionally, it is a time when family members share memorable stories that would commemorate their lives together. A special altar is made and adorned with pictures of deceased to remind the younger generation of their family roots. The altar also includes a feast gather at cemeteries to clean and decorate the gravesite with flowers and candles. They picnic with their loved ones offering food and drink to strengthen spirits enough to return to their other world. The skeleton represent the spirit still living after it has left its flesh on this earth.
The historical roots of this celebration date back to the pre-Hispanic cultures of Meso-America of the indigenous people, especially the Nahua (Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecas, Tlaxcaltec, Chichimec, Tecpanec) and others native to Mexico more than 3,000 years.
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Paul Gootenberg (History & Sociology, Stony Brook)
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Media and Belonging:
Communication, Technology and Cultural Productions in Latin America
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