Friday, September 4, 2009

The Day of the Dead - El Dia de Los Muertos

"Our relations with death are intimate, more intimate perhaps than those of any other people. The word death is not pronounced in New York, in Paris, in London, because it burns the lips. The Mexican, in contrast, is familiar with death; jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it; it is one of his favorite toys and his most steadfast love."
Octavio Paz - The Labyrinth of Solitude

From around October 31st until November 2nd, people throughout Mexico celebrate El Dia de Los Muertos - The Day of the Dead. Someday I would love to be in Mexico at this time of year, so I could participate in this festival. With images of skeletons and skulls in homes, cemeteries and parading through the streets, outsiders might find this festival ghoulish or morbid.

Not so! The Day of the Dead is really about both Life and Death. Once a year, families celebrate the memories of dearly departed relatives and friends by welcoming their spirits to join the living for just 24 hours --to share memories, feasting, music, dancing and all the things they loved in life. By honoring the dead, they celebrate life!

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