Saturday, October 28, 2006

Day of the Dead

Here is a list of things that I learned about the Day of the Dead:

1. From Why do Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead?:

Such items include offerings of flowers and food, but also things that will remind the living of the departed (such as their photographs, a diploma, or an article of clothing), and the things that the dead prized and enjoyed while they lived. This is done to entice the dead and assure that their souls actually return to take part in the remembrance.

2. It is a day not only to honor and remember ancestors, but that it is about celebrating life as well. The celebration of life seems to focus around the community's children.

3. Day of the Dead altars also have representations of Earth, Air, Fire and Water (Information from the website Day of the Dead):

Earth: crops and foods
Wind: Tissue paper, a moving object
Water: a container of
Fire: candle for each of the departed, an extra candle for those that are forgotten

4. The Day of the Dead was Christianized after the Spanish arrived. The day was originally celebrated in the beginning of August but was moved to October 31st to November 3rd coincide with All Saints Day. (Information from an artice at

5. Some of the items that are common on altars for Day of the Dead are:

  • Flowers (especially marigolds)
  • Breads/grains
  • Fruits
  • Pictures of the departed
  • Colorful cloths
  • Candles
  • Sugar skulls
  • Chocolate

6. Traditions of the days include:

  • Making an alter
  • Making loaves of pan de muertosi> (a special sweet bread)
  • Visiting the graves of departed family members
  • Overnight vigil at the graves
  • Playing music at the graves
  • Giving gifts of chocolate and sugar skulls


Autumn said...

Great information..Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Ohhh, darlin' ...I love what you've done with the place..

Lapaganchick ;-)

Sojourner said...

Autumn - :)

LA - I'm so glad to see ya back on-line! Does this mean that your site is back up? (BTW - Thanks for the compliment!)

Anonymous said...

Yes I'm trying to go back to the i've started a new blog..check it out through my profile..

This new blog is solely about my spiritual walk...reaching 35 and looking back on where I've come from and where I'm going...should be very interesting...of course, there will be drama...there always is lol

Ligeia said...

You wouldn't believe the number of people I surprise by telling them how All Saints Day/Day of the Dead were Christianized so as to make it easier to convert Pagans.

Thanks for the info.