DAY OF THE DEAD | Draw My Life

DAY OF THE DEAD | Draw My Life


The Day of the Dead is a traditional Mexican
celebration that honors ancestors. Declared intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO,
it is one of the oldest and most representative traditions of the country and takes place
on the 1st and 2nd of November each year. On these days the living meet with their deceased
relatives and friends and receive them with the best honors. It is a celebration to celebrate life after
death. The origins of the Day of the Dead are very
old, the Prehispanic indigenous peoples already celebrated it. With the arrival of Christianity, the ancestral
rites were mixed with the Catholic tradition of All Saints, giving rise to the Day of the
Dead as we know it today. In Aztec mythology, Mictecacíhuatl is the
queen of Mictlán, which is the name given to the region of the dead. Mictecacíhuatl is the lady of death and symbolizes
the beginning and end of life and together with her king welcomes all those who die. Before reaching her, the dead must go through
a long and painful journey along the Way of the Dead. Once they have finished their journey, they
will meet the kings of Mictlán, who will allow them to enjoy eternal rest. Currently, the image of the lady of death
is related to the Catrina, a figure created by José Guadalupe Posada and baptized by
the muralist Diego Rivera, which is becoming an iconic image of death in Mexico, and it
is increasingly common to see it captured as part of Day of the Dead celebrations. The Day of the Dead is not celebrated the
same way everywhere, each region has its own traditions. But they all have a common principle: the
family gathered to welcome souls. Altars and offerings are placed, the pantheon
is visited and the tombs are arranged. It is believed that the souls of the children
return from a visit on November 1, and that the souls of the adults return on November
2. The offerings are collected and the altars
are raised. The offerings are the most colorful elements
of the celebration, in them are represented the four elements, fire, earth, water and
air. Each aspect of the offering has a particular
meaning. It is said that the color of the marigold
flowers represents the path the dead must follow, the light and warmth of the candles
illuminate and accompany them through the darkness, while the succulent aroma of the
dishes prepared and placed in the offerings feeds them while reminding them of the importance
of sharing food with the family. Offerings to the dead are meticulously prepared
with the deceased’s favorite delicacies and placed around the family altar and tomb. It is decorated with chopped paper, candy
skulls, photographs, toys or any souvenir that unites the living with the dead. The Day of the Dead is one of the oldest and
most representative celebrations in Mexico. Known throughout the world today, it is a
tradition that has survived through time.

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