The Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) 

This is the Mexican holiday that celebrates, remembers and honors the dead, it is of great significance in the life of Mexican indigenous communities.  Its prehispanic origins were influenced by the Spaniards and Catholic religion, incorporating the All Souls Day and All Saints Day celebrations making a fusion of religious rites bringing together two universes. It is not a morbid or somber occasion; it is a colorful and festive celebration not in any way related to Halloween. It is celebrated between October 31st and November 2nd. This Mexican holiday was proclaimed an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2003.

On the days prior to the celebration, everything is prepared. Rooms are covered with aromas and lights to guide the return of the souls to their homes where they'll be welcomed by an altar in their honor. This is time to nurture the soul and live the tradition. It is believed that the flight of white butterflies accompanies those in route to the cemetery carrying fruits and flowers to adorn the tombs where their loved ones rest. The cemetery is filled with cempasúchil flowers, "the flower of twenty flowers." Candles are lit and the reunion party begins. A long night of rejoicing with songs and prayers, where the dead return to celebrate the mystery of life. The Day of the Dead is a tradition that has now crossed borders and is shared with the world. 

Day of the Dead OfferingAltar de Muertos  - Offerings

Seven Level Altar - Four elements The altars are temporary offerings, usually set up at home for their loved ones. It is believed that you are not dead until you are forgotten; therefore, the importance of keeping the memories with pictures, food that they loved, their favorite drinks, personal items, along with cempasúchil flowers, candles, and decorations that will help them guide their souls to heaven. Tradition believes that the souls consume the essence and flavors of the offerings.

The altar is the most popular and the closest to the prehispanic traditions. It represents the seven levels that the soul must cross to have eternal rest. The levels include representation of the four elements, fire (represented with candles), air (represented with papel picado or chiseled paper), earth (represented with seeds) and water (represented with drinks).  The seven levels include religious images of Saints or the Virgin Mary, a cross, pictures of their loved ones, their favorite food, drinks including tequila, a special Day of the Dead bread, candles, sugar skulls, toys, an image or figure of a Xoloitzcuintle dog to accompany them in their journey where the aromatic cempasúchil flowers will guide them with its perfume to visit the altar and meet again with those who remember them. 

In keeping this tradition, it is with great respect we share with you the altar we set up at the Sanborn's office in San Antonio, TX honoring the memory of our founder, Mr. Dan Sanborn and our beloved agents Mary Staves and Gloria Nunez whose love for Mexico have inspired many of us at Sanborn's.  

#DriveMexico #DiaDeMuertos #VisitMexico #DayOfTheDead 

Posted 3:00 PM

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