Going Beyond the Face Paint and Sugar Skull
Traditions are something that is important to us here at The Colibri Collective. We see traditions as a unifier in communities and in society. Mexico is a country with deep-rooted, long-standing traditions and one of those traditions is Día de los Muertos. Almost everyone has heard about Día de los Muertos, has seen the sugar skulls or face paintings, but do you know what this tradition really represents? Read on to find out the three reasons we at Colibri Collective are obsessed with Día de los Muertos.
1. Honoring Our Family and Friends: Dia de los Muertos is a day when you honor and remember deceased family, friends or any loved one. The point of Dia de los Muertos is to demonstrate love and respect for those loved ones. This observation originated several thousand years ago with the pre-Hispanic cultures and has since evolved and is still observed today throughout Mexico and other Latin American countries. Family and community is a pedestal of many Latin American countries and this tradition just continues to elevate their importance and symbolism to the culture.
2. The Ofrenda: One of the focal points of this observance is an altar, known as an ofrenda. The ofrendas, which translates to “the offerings”, are placed in homes, cemeteries and are now showing up in other public spaces. Since Día de los Muertos is a meant to be the day when youcan welcome the spirits of the deceased back to Earth. These are not altars of worship but include items to help the deceased through their journey back. The altars are comprised of the favorite items of the deceased like their favorite drinks, food, hobbies, personal items and it also includes a cross, incense, a cup of water, pan de muerto, photos, marigolds and candles.
3. The Symbolism: Día de los Muertos is not a Mexican version of Halloween. This colorful and important day is a celebration that is more joyous than mournful. From parades, calaveras, music, and costumes, this day is to celebrate life even after death. This day marks an important observance that also has religious undertones. Día de los Muertos has slowly become more popular and trendier in pop-culture – while we love to see people celebrate and become excited with something so important, it is also necessary for it to be done so respectfully. This celebration is centered around respect and it should be respected by all.