When you think of death, it usually connects with a million emotions at once, sadness, anger, regret, the empty feeling you have in your heart, or maybe even fear. But for the Mexican culture, death is happiness Of course everyone gets sad thinking about a loved one who has passed away, but they rather mourn in happiness than in sadness. Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead is an old Mexican tradition that has been transformed throughout the years.This special holiday is considered one of the most important ones in Mexico. It’s a time when family and friends gather to pray and remember those who have passed away.
It originates from the Aztecs. Although the exact date of when this celebration began is unknown, it’s estimated that it began around 3,000 years ago. It was a month long celebration that began on Miccailhuitontli, the ninth month of the Aztec Solar calendar. It was a celebration dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl (The Lady of the Dead) corresponding to the modern Catrina. During the 18th century when the spanish conquered mexico, they saw the Aztecs practicing this tradition and they thought that they were mocking the dead. The Spanish did not understand this practice and tried many times to stop it but never succeeded. Since the Spanish Conquistadores were Catholics they tried to convert the indigenous people into Catholicism, therefore as the older generations of Aztecs passed the new ones grew into it. The Aztec culture didn’t completely die out but a lot of its practices did change. This being the cause as to why a month long celebration for the dead became only 3 days.
Those 3 days were divided into a specific celebration each day.
Beginning with October 31st it was Dia de todas las Almas pe...
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...to clean the tombstone, decorate it and built an altar on it as well. On November 2nd families meet up at graveyards usually at twilight and until day time, spending time with their family. It becomes a great celebration because people bring food to have picnics together, spend time with their family, tell stories about their ancestors and sometimes musicians are hired to walk around the graveyard playing songs for the dead. Having these musicians known as mariachis is considered a high demonstration of respect, the mariachis usually play joyous music that brings happiness to everyone.
Overall Day of the Dead is not only a ritual to celebrate with family, it 's something people come together as a community to enjoy. It may be a strange celebration for others but it’s only a celebration of happiness. It gives families the chance to be with their families once again.
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