Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Latin holiday celebrated every November 1st and 2nd. Despite the skulls and the word 'dead' in the name, it's actually a very nice holiday... not 'scary' or 'gruesome' like Halloween.
At least that's my opinion of Halloween... we're not big fans. We don't do candy, and we don't believe in 'celebrating' ghosts, goblins, ghouls and witches and 'evil' in general.
So I thought I wouldn't like Dia de los Muertos, if it was anything like that. But it's not... instead it's dedicated to remembering and honoring your ancestors and other members of your family that have passed on. (It's also about good food.) Many people will spend time at the cemetery, decorating and cleaning graves and talking about their loved ones (and eating.)
Last year we celebrated Dia de los Muertos in Panajachel by flying kites and visiting the cemetery.
The year before that we were in Mexico and celebrated at:
- The night-time festivities in Tzintzuntzan
- The artisan markets in Patzcuaro
- AND in European-like Morelia.
(It was FANTASTIC, I had the best time... I think the rest of my family did too. 😉 )
This year we'll be visiting the giant kite festival near Antigua, Guatemala.
In the meantime, we did made these Dia de los Muertos crafts for kids at The Homestead. Just used some things you can find at most librerias (school/office/craft supply store.)
Marigolds are a popular flower for this festival. Graveyards are blanketed with them. Here's a photo from Tzintzuntzan in Mexico.
So we decided to make our own tissue paper marigolds (you can find instructions for making them here.)
Marina (our caretaker's daughter) got in on the action. She was very fascinated by our little project.
Parker got creative and added leaves to his stem.
The kids decided to make multi-colored marigolds... they turned out beautifully. (Orange, lime green, pink and turquoise are the traditional Dia de los Muertos colors.)
We also made masks (instructions here.)
And papel picado (cut paper, instructions here.)
Then I made our little ofrenda (literally 'offering', but simply the place where you remember your loved ones.) That's a picture of my mom and dad with me and my brother. My dad died from cancer 10 years ago.
Then of course, we made our favorite... ponche.
We first had ponche in Tzintzuntzan, and were immediately in love (especially my husband.) It's also drunk traditionally at Christmas time, kind of like a wassail or apple cider. It's made from boiled fruit, cinnamon and Latin panela (blocks of pure cane sugar.)
It's ohhhh, so good!
If you want to try making your own, here's the recipe (I improvised, adding pineapple, a banana, raisins and dates, omitting the guavas and prunes -- didn't have any.)
Have you celebrated Dia de los Muertos somewhere around the world?
[message type="custom" width="100%" start_color="#FFFFFF" end_color="#FBF8FF" border ="non" color=""]* Congrats! You made it to the end. You should sign up for updates (below) and get our book! Don't forget to 'share the love'.[/message]
Powered by New Facebook Comments