What is it? El Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is a traditional holiday honoring the dead. Dia de los Muertos is not a sad time, but instead a time of remembering and rejoicing.
Cultural Differences It is a time to remember and celebrate loved ones who haved died. It is done in a CELEBRATORY, positive manner. Death is something that shouldn´t be feared, but rather anticpated with joy.
Day of the Dead is a mix of native AZTECA traditions and CATHOLIC beliefs.
When? Coincides with the Catholic celebrations of “All Saints Day” and “All Souls Day” November 1 st and 2 nd
November 1: Typically, Nov. 1 is a day to rember CHILDREN who have died. It is known as Día de los Inocentes or Día de los Angelitos.
November 2: Nov. 2 is traditionally a day to remember the ADULTS who have passed away, and is called: Día de los Muertos or Día de los Difuntos.
¿Dónde? It is celebrated primarily in Mexico, but smaller celebrations are also found in Ecuador, Guatemala, and other Spanish speaking countries. South America.
Where? The Day of the Dead is also celebrated in areas of the United States, such as California and Texas.
October 31 / Nov. 1 Family members spend time cleaning the headstones and gravesites of their loved ones. They place marigolds and other decorations on their headstones.
Family members will prepare for Day of the Dead by cleaning and decorating the tombstones of their loved ones.
Altars In the homes families arrange ofrendas or altars Altars typically include: – A picture of the one being remembered – Items they were fond of – Snacks/Favorite Foods – Candles – Flowers – Gifts/Offerings – Salt – Incense – Papel picado
Altars: 1 st Level = Photos 2 nd Level = Favorite Things of the Muerto 3 rd Level = Offerings (food, water, etc.)
Altar Item Significance: Papel Picado = the wind Food = the earth Candles = fire Glasses of Water = water Salt = the continuance of life Incense and flowers = help guide the spirits
Las Velas / Candles Common colors for candles are purple (representing pain), white (for hope), and pink (meaning celebration). They are usually placed in the four cardinal points, making a cross. The light of the candle is used to illuminate the way for the dead as they return. Each candle represents a departed soul.
Masks By putting on a mask, a person can become another being, either alive or dead. Many indigenous people still depend on masks believing they are needed to make the rituals or dance performances effective. Many people dress up in skeleton costumes and wear skull masks to celebrate Day of the Dead.
Papel Picado Papel Picado is a traditional art used to decorate homes, businesses, markets and altars in preparation for the Day of the Dead. The thin tissue paper images are usually cut in large quantities and hung in repetitious patterns.
Skeletons Skeletons and skulls are found everywhere. (Costumes, decorations, parades, foods and desserts, etc) Handmade skeleton figurines, called calacas, are especially popular. Calacas usually show an active and joyful afterlife. Figures of musicians, generals on horseback, even skeletal brides, in their white bridal gowns marching down the aisles with their boney grooms.
Vocabulario Los muertos = Los antepasados = La calaca (El Esqueleto) = La calavera (El cráneo) = Las ofrendas = Las velas = La tumba = El cementerio = El alma, La ánima = La fantasma = Las flores = Las maravillas =
Links Día de los Muertos: For Teachers and Students – http://www.azcentral.com/ent/dead/teachers/ http://www.azcentral.com/ent/dead/teachers/ Common misconceptions about the Day of the Dead – http://www.inside-mexico.com/noes.htm http://www.inside-mexico.com/noes.htm History, Traditions, and Significance – http://www.nacnet.org/assunta/dead.htm http://www.nacnet.org/assunta/dead.htm
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