Día de muertos

In Ecuador on November 2, the day of the deceased (not the dead) is commemorated. From the previous night the cemeteries are filled with people who are carrying the favorite food of the deceased and of course the  COLADA MORADA AND THE GUAGUAS DE PAN  (bread in the form of a person). The tombs are cleaned and filled with flowers and people remember their dead. In some places, they do processions with village band, it is like seeing a funeral again and again.

Laylita photo www.laylita.com

Laylita photo www.laylita.com

When I was a child, I would go to sleep in fear, thinking of the dead who returned, the tears and sorrows that they dragged. I never liked hearing the stories of the dead or seeing the processions they did to remember something so sad.

Photo of Diario Hoy.

Photo of Diario Hoy.

In Mexico on November 2 is celebrated the day of the dead. People prepare altars for offerings and remember with joy the lives of those who are no longer there. These rituals have been celebrated for at least 3000 years. The Mesoamerican natives kept the skulls of their dead and offered them as an offering to the goddess

"Calavera Garbancera" José Guadalupe Posada.

“Calavera Garbancera” José Guadalupe Posada.

Mictecacihuatl, she was the “lady of death” and is now represented as La Catrina.

Of all the Mexican customs, I believe that the day of the dead is the most beautiful and representative. Every year at home we eat bread guaguas and drink purple, this year we made our first altar of death and incorporated the bread of death and tamales.

Our First Altar of the Dead.

Our First Altar of the Dead.

For 3 years we have visited the exhibition of dead in the Mexican Museum and we always bring calaveritas, but this is the first year in which we explain why they make the skulls and what the celebration is about. We made a simple altar, and we took pictures of my two grandparents. As we did not have photos of my husband’s grandparents, we wrote their names and we put a skullcap to each one. At the altar we put salt bread (which was my grandfather’s favorite William), but Monkey3 ate it all at once.

Para mí es muy importante que los niños crezcan recordando las tradiciones de sus raíces, y la tradición del día de muertos, se me hace la más hermosa porque la gente celebra la vida. Es increíble como la muerte de un ser amado nos acerque al entendimiento de amor y vida. Desde el 1ro de noviembre los mexicanos se preparan recordando a los suyos. Parte de recordar es volver a vivirlo y por eso hay un altar que representa quienes fueron en vida, además escriben CALAVERAS que son versos escritos a manera de epitafio. El máximo exponente de esta expresión literaria y artística  fue José Guadalupe Posada, quien irónicamente murió solo, sin una sola llorona y terminó enterrado en una fosa común.

Les conté a mis hijos como a mi abuelito Guillermo le encantaba caminar, el campo y comer pan (igual que a Monkey3). Les conté que a mi abuelito Pepe le gustaba su sopa no caliente, le encantaba hablar y sentarse cerca de su ventana a ver la gente pasar. Les conté de mis bisabuelas Luz que siempre tenía la casa más fresca y dulces para nosotras y de Julia que nos preparaba una machica deliciosa mientras nos contaba del abuelito. Les conté sobre la sopa de fideo de la abuelita Toñeta y también lo que me habían contado sobre los abuelitos Aldo e Ignacio.

The monkeys were fascinated with the stories and want to know more about them. Next year I would like to make an altar with the photos of all those who are no longer there and with the steps and everything that should go in an offering of dead. Meanwhile, I take my purple laundry and the monkeys eat dead bread.

While I invite you to read this  CALAVERA  written by Gary Ramos, one of the main characters is Matías.