Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Day of the Dead!

Today is Dia de los Inocentes or Day of the Innocents, part one of a two day Mexican holiday honoring the dead. Today and tomorrow, people will visit cemeteries where loved ones are buried and decorate their graves with Marigolds, the “Flower of the Dead.” They will also build alters containing the favorite foods, beverages, and items belonging to deceased loved ones at the cemetery and in their homes in hopes of encouraging the souls of the departed to visit them. Toys are commonly purchased for children who have passed away, and bottles of tequila are left for adults. (If that isn’t a bribe, I don’t know what is!)  

Unlike the somber American Memorial Day, Day of the Dead is often a festive event. The streets are decorated with skeletons, candies shaped like skulls, and picnics at the cemetery are common. It is viewed as a time of happiness and celebration because loved ones who have passed away can come back to visit their families.

Although I don’t celebrate this holiday myself, I love the idea of a time when spirits, or ghosts, are encouraged to come back and visit us. What do you think?

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