Dia de Muertos aka Day of the dead is a celebrated multi-day holiday in Mexico and through out the Americas. please note . This interesting holiday this is not a version of Halloween even though they are sort of related. Day of the dead unlike Halloween focuses on family and friend’s gathering to pray and remember loved ones that have died. The celebration of a the person who has passed on is said to help in their journey and honor their life. Its is a celebration of life and filled with brightness and color.
During the three day period of this holiday many families in Mexico go to the cemetery where their love one is buried. The family will typically clean up the site and create beautiful alters and place offerings on their grave sites.
These offerings include items like marigolds, believing that the bright colors and smell can guide the souls from the cemeteries to their family homes. For the younger deceased you may see toys set on their graves. On some of the adults resting places you may find bottles of tequila or mezcal. Some families will actually spend the night praying over their dead and having small picnics. Some will even lay out a blanket and pillow for the dead so they can rest along their journey.
Many families will have offerings in their homes also to welcome their dead home. Usually foods such as candied pumpkin, bread and sugar skulls along with beverages for them as well. Some believe the spirits of the dead can eat the spiritual essence of the offered foods. The people who consume the foods that were offered believe it lacks nutritional value because of this.
This is a considered to be a very important tradition in Mexico so you may find alters through out the areas. Families spend some time around the altars praying, in some areas they will also wear shells on their clothing so when they dance the noise will wake up the dead. The dead are considered to still be members of the community kept alive with the memory and spirit of them.
We joined in the parade celebration here in Mazatlan it began at the Plaza Machado and continued throughout the Historic district area.
The Plaza Machado was filled with various fun painted sugar skulls, lights, vendors and several stages with different entertainment. The center gazebo had live music by several different artist that filled the air with song. There were two stages flanking the plaza which had traditional Mexican dancers twirling around.
The parade wasn’t as big as we were thinking it might be but interesting nonetheless. There were several floats that were giving away free beer these were fun to watch as everyone tried to get theirs. Some of the floats were brightly light up and some had dressed up people waving and smiling. In between floats and towards the end of the precision were hundreds of people walking along with the parade.
We saw lots of people of all ages taking part in the tradition of dressing up like the dead. With skull face painting and extravagantly designed costumes. The little children running around dressed up and having fun were super cute to watch.
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