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The tradition of All Saints Day or Day of the Dead


Mom, what is All Saints Day? That is a very normal question that can come out of the mouth of any child during the first celebration of the month of November. How to explain that the day of the dead or the day of the dead is celebrated? Why is a public holiday declared? Do we know how to answer it?

The easiest thing is to answer that it is the day when we honor loved ones and go to cemeteries to put flowers and remember them. Nevertheless, the day of all the saints it is much more, it is a very old tradition that has to do with Christianity.

In reality, this festival was established by Pope Urban IV, in the 12th century, in honor of all the Saints, both known and unknown, in order to compensate all those who did not have their own festival in the liturgical calendar.

In the past, groups of martyrs died on the same day and, in the time of Diocletian, in the second century, the persecutions of Christians were such that they could not assign a day to each martyr. But, the Church, understanding that each martyr deserved to be venerated, marked a common day for all of them.

This holiday in Catholic countries is celebrated on November 1 and in the Orthodox Church on the first Sunday after Pentecost.

All Saints' Day is celebrated in different ways depending on the country. In many countries with a Catholic tradition it is common to visit the cemetery and put flowers on the graves where loved ones lie. It is even tradition to go a few days before to fix and clean the graves.

In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is also celebrated, where offerings are made to beings who are no longer there, which consist of leaving flowers, food, drink or skull-shaped sweets on the graves. Something that also takes place in Guatemala or Bolivia.

In Spain, during those days there are performances of 'Don Juan Tenorio', Zorrilla's romantic drama. It is typical to eat certain foods during these celebrations. There are very typical sweets from All Saints such as buƱuelos, bones de santo, panellets, pan de muerto or empiƱonadas. Pastry shops fill up with these sweets and sales skyrocket.

The celebration of the dead in Mexico is lived with jokes and laughter, with colorful, cheerful and bright skulls. Both those skulls and the artist's works Frida Kahlo they are important symbols for the festivities of the deceased. The celebration begins with the decoration of the altars in honor of the deceased in their homes, churches and graves in cemeteries. In these places, different offerings are placed that include photographs, the deceased's favorite foods, flowers, candles, breads, incense, etc.

In Mexico, as in other places, people form processions to the pantheons where they have a picnic at the graves of their loved ones, with parties, music and dancing, as well as drinks and food. The party goes on into the night with candles lit until dawn the next day. People live the holiday as if their dead beings were alive.

One of the most important culinary traditions in Mexico, in this celebration, is the pan de muerto, a bread
sweet decorated with crossed bones or a skull and dusted with sugar and the calaveritas (sugar skulls).

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Video: Dia de los Muertos. Film School Shorts (December 2021).