All Things Muertos
October 31, 2003 2:38 PM   Subscribe

The Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos, "Day of the Dead."
posted by moonbird (10 comments total)
An afterthought: how to make a sugar skull.
posted by moonbird at 2:42 PM on October 31, 2003

A 'Dia de Muertos' post would not be complete without a mention of José Guadalupe Posadas or the "Flor de Zempasuchil".
posted by golo at 4:22 PM on October 31, 2003

God, how very very very badly do I want to go to Mexico for Dia de los Muertos?

Thanks for the links!
posted by Katemonkey at 4:28 PM on October 31, 2003

Actually El dia de los muertos is celebrated all over Latin America. And don't forget November 1st is Dia de todos los santos, "All Saints Day" and November 2nd is Dia de los Muertos.

People in Bolivia go and visit the cemetaries and bake breads in the shapes of corpses, though Halloween is starting to make inroads here.
posted by jlbartosa at 4:46 PM on October 31, 2003

All I know of this holiday I got from the coolest game ever made.
posted by thanotopsis at 5:04 PM on October 31, 2003

Funny, I always wanted to know what Dia De Los Muertos meant. I first saw it on this Diablotones Album. (Caution: tight music ahead!)
posted by Keyser Soze at 5:13 PM on October 31, 2003

In México a week or two before Día de Muertos they start selling those sugar skulls (and also "Muerto's bread"). They usually have a name on them so people give each other skulls with their name on, which might seem a little macabre to outside sensibilities.
In case you're wondering about some of Posadas' carvings in spanish nouns have gender and death is female.
posted by golo at 5:31 PM on October 31, 2003

The day of the dead is a broad mexican tradition with pagan roots. Still it fits in suprisingly well with what Octavio Paz described in his book, The Labyrinth of Solitude, as that Mexican sense of fatalism and comradery with death:

The Mexican . . . 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. True, there is perhaps as much fear in his attitude as in that of others, but at least death is not hidden away (. . .) Death [in the poetry of Gorostiza and Villaurrutia can be seen] as nostalgia, rather than as the fruition or end of life, [it] is death as origin. The ancient, original source is the grave, not a womb

To me, as a kid who grew up in Mexico near Janitzio, a day of the dead epicenter, the days before were one long surreal festival interspersed with moments of true grief (inspired by the memorials) which are quickly washed away by the signs of animation, of life - vivid flowers, dancing skeletons, processions of candles.
posted by vacapinta at 6:30 PM on October 31, 2003

vacapinta - took the words right out of my mouth. Then, there's the Museo De las.......(oh, later, later...)
posted by troutfishing at 8:57 PM on October 31, 2003

I've always been fascinated with this holiday. Thanks for the links.
posted by dong_resin at 3:56 AM on November 2, 2003

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