Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos a unique holiday celebrated in Mexico that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. In Mexico, especially Oaxaca, this holiday is celebrated still in the most traditional manner. There is an abundance of heritage and history in Oaxaca and Dia de los Muertos is the most celebrated there in its traditional manner, here is information about the celebrations in Oaxaca http://oaxacalive.com/muertos.htm The tradition is also celebrated in other parts of Mexico, and over the past several years also into USA. However, in the states, Dia de los Muertos has become very trendy and appreciated more for its unique and artistic nature of the decor and oddly, attractive eeriness. Many people still do not understand the meaning of it and because of the skulls assume it something with an evil or halloween correlation, and as a matter of fact, it is a beautiful way to celebrate those that have passed, and it precedes the Catholic religious dates of All Souls Day & All Saints Day.
The holiday is also celebrated in other Latino countries, in Brazil Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones.
Dia de los Muertos is a holiday I’m glad to see has earned it’s way to this north of the states, it has gained popularity and is a cultural holiday many are curious to learn more about. Dia de los Muertos holiday is transferred into a culmination of artistic creativity and celebrations that are now expressed in so many unique and inventive ways, both in mainstream markets and chain stores like Target to individual interpretation art.
In summary, the holiday is known for its unique traditions with traces to the indigenous, the basic celebration entails the following:
- Family members often clean and decorate the graves of loved ones on Dia de los Muertos.
- In addition to celebrations, the dead are honored on Dia de los Muertos with ofrendas—small, personal altars honoring one person.
- Ofrendas, like an ‘altar, often have flowers, candles, food, drinks, photos, and personal mementos of the person being remembered, and this is where one will also add calaveras, catrinas, calacas papel picado, and other dia de los muertos arts. http://archive.azcentral.com/ent/dead/glossary/
At El Burrito Mercado every year we feature the many Mexican artists beautiful dia de los muertos pieces throughout our store, we hand select all the items in our visits to Mexico. We have everything you need to celebrated dia de los muertos, we are your one stop shop Dia de los Muertos!
We also build an ofrenda, this year we chose to remember Robin Williams
These are the most important and traditional components for building your own ofrenda:
What & why the Sugar Skulls?
Sugar skulls are exactly that- skull-shaped sugar. Traditional sugar skulls are made from a granulated white sugar mixture that is pressed into special skull molds. The sugar mixture is allowed to dry and then the sugar skull is decorated with icing, feathers, colored foil and more. While the ingredients of sugar skulls are edible (with the exception of the non-edible decorations you may add) the skulls are generally used for decorative purposes. However some small sugar skulls that are made with basic icing are intended to be consumed. On November 1 (All Souls Day) small sugar skulls are placed for children that have passed, and replaced with larger, more decorative skulls on November 2 to represent adults. At El Burrito Mercado we sell premade & decorated sugar skulls. Here is a recipe for making your own sugar skulls.
PAN DE MUERTO
This sweet bread is eaten by the families of the deceased during Dia de los Muertos, and placed on the altar. The Pan de Muerto is a made into a round shape and and extra dough is twisted and designed into decorations resembling bones which is place on top of the bread in a criss cross shape. The circular shape symbolizes the circle of life, and the bones decoration represents the dead (bones of the dead). The bread is baked, glazed and decorated with colored sugar or sesame. Make your own Pan de Muerto recipe here or buy it already prepared at El Burrito Mercado, or you can call and order your own customized pan de muerto in the shape of a person and we can write the name of the deceased on it for your ofrenda.
Cempasúchil, The Marigold and Day of the Dead
The ancient celebrations honored Mictecacihuatl, the goddess of the dead and death. The Aztecs believed that the smell could wake the souls of the dead to bring them back for the festival. Read more: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/245/#ixzz3GhbMHAV4
As well as water (to quench their thirst after the long journey), candles (to light their way), and papel picado (to represent wind).
To celebrate Dia de los Muertos in Minnesota, consider attending our dinner on November 2 and also these other activities throughout the Twin Cities: