Fun Facts About the Day of the Dead
The celebration of death has pre-Hispanic origins. Various cultures such as Aztec, Mexica, Nahuatl, among others, celebrated Mictlantecuhtli, the god of the underworld, who together with his wife, Mictecacíhuatl ruled over those who are no longer with us. After being colonized, the rituals and traditions of the natives merged with those of Christianity, hence the celebration as we know it today.
Not Just in México
Death is celebrated all over the world, like Haiti which celebrates "Fet Gede" or "All Souls' Day" on November 2nd, China has "Ching Ming" on April 4th and 5th, where the spirits approach their Loved ones, Ireland celebrates “Samhain” which is the end of the harvest, the beginning of the cold and dark season and is believed to be when the veil between our world and that of the spirits vanishes.
The Altar Represents the Four Elements
Fire- candles Earth- fruits, and food that come from the earth Water- the drinks we leave for our deceased Air- shredded paper
La Catrina is super iconic not only for the Day of the Dead, but for Mexican culture. Did you know that it was originally a critic of society? That's how it is! Mexican engraver and caricaturist José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) created a metal engraving in 1873 of a skull wearing a hat in the European fashion of the day. He was talking about the Mexican people who wanted to pass themselves off as Europeans, who carry Mexico in their bones, but cover themselves with European feathers and fabrics. She was later baptized "Catrina" by Diego Rivera.
It's Inspired Movies
It is a holiday with so much magic and beauty that it is a bit difficult not to be inspired by it! Several movies center around this celebration or take inspiration from the visual elements. Here are some of our favorites: Coco, The Book of Life, Day of the Dead, The Legend of the Nahuala. What is your favorite?
In 2003, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) named the Day of the Dead 'Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.' What is your favorite part of this special holiday?