Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dia de los Muertos

October 28 - November 2 in Mexico is the celebration of death. Jesus said in John 11:24, "I am the resurrection and the LIFE. He that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."

Anticipating dia de los muertos, marzipan,candy, and chocolate skulls
were present in store shelves throughout Mexico

This bread is called hojaldra. It is a special bread made for the dia de los muertos. The decorations on the top represent bones.

These children in costume were performing on a platform in the cemetery

Throughout the time I have lived in Mexico, I have learned more about what the dia de los muertos represents. This year Abraham and I went to visit a cemetery on Nov. 2, the climax of the days. Dia de los muertos is actually a misguiding name, for in Mexico, the observances begin on Oct. 28th as families remember those who died violent deaths. October 29 is for the unbaptized and October 30 for the lonely soul. On October 31, the children who died after being baptized visit their families and leave on November 1. November 2 is the final day, when all the spirits of the dead come together with their living family members. The term "visit" is not used lightly, for Mexicans who observe these days believe that the spirit of the dead returns to them. The living family members usually build an altar in their homes, decorating it with offerings of food, symbols of the favorite pass-times of their dead relative, and objects that the person enjoyed in life. In Huejotzingo, one man told Abraham that at least in their family, they call out to the spirits, inviting them to come back home.
This is an example of an altar inside a shopping mall
The cemetery had this altar in the entryway

Outside the cemetery, a vendor sold miniatures to decorate altars

One of the crypts had this altar set up

Inside the cemetery, a few mariachi bands offered their services to sing to the dead

The cemetery is very large. In every row, highly decorated graves were evident

Please join us as we pray for the light of LIFE to shine on Mexico. Pray that this ancient festival with its connections to the pre-hispanic rituals offered to Mictecacihuatl, the goddess of the underworld, would end.

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