Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hot Hot Hot - Mexico

Happy Day of the Dead
I'm so happy! Bright colors, gaudy decor and lots of skulls! What more could a girl ask for!

Feliz Dia de los Muertos!
We had fun making tissue paper flowers and papel picado.

Day of the dead isn't scary or morbid. It's a joyful celebration of our departed loved ones.
For over 3000 years the people of Mexico have practiced this custom. The spirits of their loved
ones are allowed to come back to Earth and enjoy the party with their family one night a year.
In houses all over Mexico, altars or ofrendas are set up to honor that family's deceased loved ones.

Included on the altar are their favorite foods, items representing hobbies or careers...

pictures, sugar skulls called calaveras...

marigolds, the symbol of death, papel picado and candles
The people paint their faces with the cycle of life or wear wooden masks.

The kids made paper ofrendas to commemorate the life of a loved one.

It had a picture of them, pictures of their favorite food...

and a picture of something they enjoyed in life.
Everyone who picked Steven drew Mountain Dew!

Decorating the calaveras

In Mexico the name of the deceased would be written on the forehead of the
calaveras with frosting and then they would be eaten by the relatives.

Today the calaveras aren't eaten. They are usually only used on the ofrenda and placed on graves.

Decorating a cycle of life mask.

The cycle of life face or mask usually has one half left natural to signify life. The other half is a skeleton suggesting death, and flowers and vines adorn the skull suggesting a return of the body to nature.

Cycle of life

A beautiful senora from Mexico

Like father, like son!

Some of our finished calaveras

In Mexico a staple of holiday celebrations is the cascarones,
a hollowed out colored egg, filled with confetti.

The cascarones are cracked over each others heads,

 bringing  good luck, and a big mess!

Our Mexican meal included three kinds of tamales, mini tacos,...

...taquitos, burros, chips and salsa and horchata and Mexican sodas.

Our cute little skull pinata was filled with all kinds of Mexican candy.

In Mexico the families party and picnic at the graveyard to be with their dead ancestors.
We visited our families graves, told stories about them and left potted marigolds.

Adios amigos!

Gramma Luvlee

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