I don’t like Halloween. I hate scary stuff. Spiders are dumb and pumpkins shouldn’t be carved, they should be saved for Thanksgiving so that they can be elegantly displayed in Thanksgiving Harvest themes on porches and dining tables…
(I know, I’m smiling as I type this. WHAT UP, killjoy.)
But alas, I have kids who love to dress up. Thankfully, not as vampires and dead things… yet.
Just a buho (owl) and a princessa mariposa. (Butterfly princess.)
So, this morning they woke up and we chanted the Bubble Guppies song in our customized Halloween way:
“What time is it?”
“It’s HALLOWEEN TIME!”
“What time is it?
“IT’S HALLOWEEN TIME!”
They were dressed and looked cute and off they went to school surrounded by skeletons and vampires.
But here’s why I really like today. Because it’s Dia de los Muertos. (The Day of the Dead.)
Each year in Mexico, families, places of business, you name it — create altars. They decorate them with photos of people who have passed away; beloved family members and friends. Then, they add some standards. They add candles, water, pan de muerto (bread of death — who doesn’t love bread?), salt (to flavor the offerings on the altar for the departed) and various knicknacks or items that reflect who that person was.
Here are the specific directions, in Español.
Here’s why I like the holiday:
Note: This is my take on the holiday. I’m certainly not a native, but I’ve lived here long enough to know the basics.
Each year people physically take the time to remember their loved ones… to teach future generations about loved ones. To tell stories about them. To keep them alive.
This is lovely.
I don’t believe we have any tradition like this in the States. Whereby annually, we physically do something to remind us of the lives of our loved ones.
|Las calaveras. Skeletons. Symbols of the Day of the Dead.|
I used to think that the catarinas were scary (see above) — the traditional skeleton figures dressed in bright, vibrant colors with flowers surrounding them, but now, I think they’re beautiful.
I’ve been toying with doing a tribute to my Mom… I think next year I will. I think on her altar would be a Bible, a picture of an iPad, an empty can of pringles, some gardening gloves, photos of her kiddos and grandkids and some lemonheads and a coke slush.
Yep. Dia de los Muertos has new meaning for me this year.
Take a look at this AMAZING day of the dead my assistant made for in front of one of our offices.