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‘The Day of the Dead’ Art work from other Cultures:

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1 ‘The Day of the Dead’ Art work from other Cultures:

2 What is the day of the Dead? More than 500 years ago, when the Spanish Conquistadors landed in what is now Mexico, they saw native Indians practicing a ritual that seemed to mock death.

3 The Day of the Dead A ritual known today as Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, had been practiced by the local people at least 3,000 years. The Spaniards tried to stamp out the ritual but were unsuccessful. It is still celebrated in Mexico and certain parts of the USA.

4 What is The Day of The Dead? This ancient festivity has been changed throughout the years, but which was originally intended to celebrate children and the dead. The best way to describe this Mexican holiday is to say that it is a time when Mexican families remember their dead, and the continuity of life.

5 What is The Day of The Dead? Celebrations are held each year in Mesa, Chandler, Guadalupe and at Arizona State University. Although the ritual has since been merged with Catholic celebrations, it still keeps some of the elements of the Aztec ritual, such as the use of skulls.

6 What is The Day of The Dead?

7 The original celebration can be traced to the festivities held during the Aztec month of Miccailhuitontli, ritually presided by the goddess Mictecacihuatl ("Lady of the Dead"), and dedicated to children and the dead.Aztec month of Miccailhuitontli The rituals during this month also featured a festivity dedicated to the major Aztec war deity, Huitzilopochtli ("Sinister Hummingbird").

8 In the Aztec calendar, the Day of the Dead ritual fell roughly at the end of July and the beginning of August. The Spanish priests moved the ritual so that it came at the same time as the Christian holiday of Halloween (in Spanish: "Día de Todos Santos,") As a result the Mexicans now celebrate the Day of the Dead during the first two days of November rather than at the beginning of summer. When is the Day of the Dead?

9 Day of the dead masks

10 What happens in the celebrations? The day’s activities consist of visits by families to the graves of their close kin. At the gravesites family members start by sprucing up the gravesite, decorating it with flowers, setting out and enjoying a picnic, and interacting socially with other family and community members who gather at the cemetery. Families remember the departed by telling stories about them.

11 What happens in the celebrations? The meals prepared for these picnics are sumptuous, usually featuring meat dishes in spicy sauces, a special egg-batter bread, cookies, chocolate, and sugary confections in a variety of animal or skull shapes. Gravesites or family altars are decorated with large, bright flowers such as marigolds and chrysanthemums and adorned with religious jewellery and (in smaller villages) with offerings of food, cigarettes and alcoholic drinks.

12 What happens in the celebrations? The warm social environment, the colorful setting, and the abundance of food, drink and good company this commemoration of the dead is pleasant in spite of its morbid subject. The festive interaction between living and dead in an important social ritual and a way of recognising the cycle of life and death that is human existence.

13 Art work of the Day of the Dead


15 What happens in the celebrations? The Day of the Dead is a time for the dead to return home and visit loved ones, feast on their favorite foods and listen to their favorite music. In the homes, family members honor their deceased with ofrendas or offerings which may consist of photographs, bread, other foods, flowers, toys and other symbolic offerings.

16 Calaveras - songs and poems about the festival

17 Examples of work by students







24 David Cation - artist’s work



27 Glossary alfenique - a special confection used to fashion skulls, fruits and other figures. angelitos - the souls of the children who have died, literally "little angels" atole - an ancient drink made from corn meal and water flavored with various fruits. calavera - a skull, also a slang term for "daredevil"

28 Glossary calaveras - songs and poems about the festival careta -a face mask cempazuchitl - a yellow marigold, the symbol of death copalli - a scented resin used to make candles

29 Glossary mole - a thick sauce made from a variety of ingredients including chilis, sesame seeds, herbs, spices, chocolate/fruit. ofrenda - an offering, refers to the goods set out on the altars pan de los muertos - bread of the dead

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