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11/01/2018 2:48 pm  #1


Día de los Muertos

These vibrant Día de los Muertos traditions honor the dead and remind the living of our fragility.

BY CAITLIN ETHERTON

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, typically begins on All Saints Day, the first day of November. While most festivities combine indigenous and Catholic traditions, the Mexican holiday predates Catholic influence, originating from ancient Aztec festivals that venerated gods like Mictēcacihuātl, the powerful lady of the dead. Today there are as many places to celebrate as there are interpretations of the festival’s “new” signature lady, the feather-boa skeleton, La Catrina.Today there are as many places to celebrate as there are interpretations of the festival’s “new” signature lady, the feather-boa skeleton, La Catrina. Originally painted by José Guadalupe Posada and reimagined by Mexican artist Diego Rivera in his 1947 mural “Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park.”


While every place incorporates different traditions (spicy rum in Haiti, baby-shaped bread in Ecuador) all festivities have one thing in common—a joyful and rich celebration of those dearly departed. This is a time for sharing funny stories about those who have passed, for eating and remembering your great great grandma’s favorite soup, for both cleaning the graves and dancing in the streets. Markets across Mexico spill over with sugary candy, copal incense, pricked paper banners, and mountains of bread. Everywhere everything is flooded with marigolds.

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We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 
 

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