By Brent E. Beltrán
Every year on November 1st and 2nd we remember our dead. Give them food and things they appreciated while they were alive. We build altars in our homes. We share stories. Remember loved ones, family and friends, heroes and historical figures. We go to gravesites and clean tombstones and markers. Leave cempasúchils (marigolds) and sugar skulls. Maybe a little tequila if they liked a drink in their day. For the children we leave toys and candy.
November 1 is Día de los Inocentes (Day of the Innocents) when deceased children are honored and November 2 is known as Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) where we pay tribute to adults who have passed away. These dates correspond with the Christian holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Soul’s Day. Though las días de los muertos were coopted by Christianity they are not Christian holidays or celebrations. Their history can be traced back thousands of years to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. [Read more…]