Have you ever heard of the "Day of the Dead" tradition? We know you had! If you've seen "Coco, the movie", well, that is very close to the real celebration in Mexico!
We all know about the strong heritage of the Mexican traditions, but Day of the Dead specially is one of the biggest celebrations across the country due to its meaning and relationship with ancient cultures. Day of the Dead in Mexico is just around the corner and we decided to write this post before the festivities to inform people of the amazing things you can enjoy in Mexico if you visit the country around these dates.
Day of the Dead is celebrated between October 31st and November 2nd designating each day to a very spiritual schedule. They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.
Lets start with the food, as we mentioned before in other blogposts talking about Mexico, gastronomy is one of the most important things in all Mexican traditions.
During these days and all around de country, each family build and altar with different offerings, including food, that represent a strong offering to the deceased relatives for they to come visit their families. Families also include photos of the deceased, articles, flowers and candles.
Let me talk about a special meal that is only made for this celebration, the might "Pib" or "Mucbipollo". This is a special Tamale made with pork and chicken meat and a special gravy inside, all of that wrapped in banana leaf and buried in the ground in a special oven, it looks like this:
And the final product, looks like this:
On the afternoon of Nov. 2, the festivities are taken to the cemetery. People clean tombs, play cards, listen to the village band and reminisce about their loved ones. Tradition keeps the village close. Day of the Dead is becoming very popular in the U.S. ~ perhaps because they don't have a way to celebrate and honor our dead, or maybe it's because of their fascination with it's mysticism.
Sugar art was brought to the New World by Italian missionaries in the 17th century. The first Church mention of sugar art was from Palermo at Easter time when little sugar lambs and angels were made to adorn the side altars in the Catholic Church.
Mexico, abundant in sugar production and too poor to buy fancy imported European church decorations, learned quickly from the friars how to make sugar art for their religious festivals. Clay molded sugar figures of angels, sheep and sugar skulls go back to the Colonial Period 18th century. Sugar skulls represented a departed soul, had the name written on the forehead and was placed on the home ofrenda or gravestone to honor the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style of big happy smiles, colorful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments. Sugar skulls are labor intensive and made in very small batches in the homes of sugar skull makers. These wonderful artisans are disappearing as fabricated and imported candy skulls take their place.
There is nothing as beautiful as a big, fancy, unusual sugar skull!
So, if you are planning on visit Mexico this season, taking the tour of Day of the Dead is a must! We have it on sale promotion! Book your tour prior to October 20 to get this discount!