The Mexican Day of the Dead by Jean Francis
As we approach Halloween I am reminded of probably my best holiday ever.
The Mexican Day of the Dead is know in Mexico as Dia los Muertos and is recognised as a national holiday. The festival takes place each year over three days from October 31 to All Saints Day, November 2.
Festivities begin with children parading the streets in spooky costumes, while in the market places, homes and hotels beautiful alters are created to honour those gone before. Low alters are created for children who have died bearing toys and candies, whereby alters for adults display their favourite tipple, cigarettes and food. Sugar skulls play an important part in the celebrations, also special loaves are baked.
Graveyards become a hive of activity as gravestones are scrubbed and adorned with cascades of flowers and thousands of candles. As dusk falls the candles are lit and families gather to picnic and party beside the graves of loved ones. Bands play, there is a real air of celebration with fire-works as the spirits of loved ones are welcomed back from the dead to celebrate with family and friends before goodbyes are said until the next year.
Taking part in this festival was one of the most enjoyable holidays I can remember and can thoroughly recommend it if you want a real treat and like ritual; colour and celebration