Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Day of the Dead

Every day on the first day of November, Oaxaca’s people celebrate the arrival of their dead relatives. Previously, the family makes an offering to the dead, which consists of food and beverages.

On the last days of October, the people make the altar. It consists of an arc, with a table, where the people put food, fruit, and beverages that the dead people liked. On the October 31st, the people go to the Pantheon to wait for the arrival of their dead children, “angelitos,” like little angels. Before the arrival of the little angels, the people clean their gravestones and they have a party, where they divide up the food, like tamales, bread and fruit and beverages, chocolate and mescal. The families of the dead children light candles and they bring things that the dead children liked. All night the pantheon is a place full of life.

At midnight, the people pray to their little angels, they pray to God for them. The next day, November 1st, the women cook the traditional Oaxacan food, “mole oaxaqueno.” It consists of a mixture of several kinds of chilis, tomatoes, chocolate, bananas, garlic cloves, sesame, onion, and bread accompanied with turkey, which was killed one day before.
At night, the people pray and wait for the arrival of the dead adults.

Eden Hernández Vásquez
Neydi Méndez Martínez


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