Mexican Day of the Dead

Día de los Muertos

Overview

The Mexican Day of the Dead, a festival that is celebrated yearly on October 31, November 1, and November 2, is a time when families gather around to celebrate the spirits of their loved ones who had passed away. This celebration also occurs in other countries. The families begin by cleaning and decorating their graves, constructing ofrendas, small alters, in their houses, and eating the foods that are generally served during the festival. Sweet breads and skull shaped candies are most common.

Foods Served

The foods that are given to the souls or spirits usually depend on their age and taste. The bread, Pan de muerto, which is round shaped and made with a special egg dough that is formed as a cross with a skeleton above, is always served, as well as water, and salt. Common foods also include sugar candies shaped into skulls. The older aged spirits receive the finer foods, with many different kinds of sweets. Families have given different foods from turkey in chili sauce, tamales, to corn dumplings, or anything that the dead had desired. They also give the desired drink. These foods could both be either rare or even abundant, since they are served in favor of the person who they are honoring. The skulls that are formed from the bread and candies symbolize death and rebirth. In the other countries that celebrate the Day of the Dead outside of Mexico also symbolizes the skulls as their belief in the existence of an active afterlife.


Bibliography

"Calabaza En Tacha- Candied Pumpkin." About.com Mexican Food. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Jan. 2014.

"Mexico." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 2 Jan. 2014.

"Day of the Dead." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 2 Jan. 2014.

Pilcher, Jeffrey M. "Day of The Dead." Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. Ed. Solomon H. Katz. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003. 505-506. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 2 Jan. 2014.