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Day Of The Dead

Day of the Dead Art

In southern Mexico, the spirits of the dead come back to visit, from noontime on October 31 through November 2. It is a time of rituals and prayer, but also of personal celebration as people "catch up" with their deceased loved ones. Many believers keep all-night vigils in Oaxaca's cemeteries, which are transformed into a wonderland of twinkling candles, yellow marigolds, and smoking incense.

betha cruz holding day of the dead art
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Read More About Day Of The Dead

The Day Of The Dead, or El Día de los Muertos (Spanish) is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd each year.  November 2nd is an official public holiday in Mexico.  Dedicated to remembering the souls of loved ones who have passed, November 1st is traditionally dedicated to children and the 2nd to adults. It is believed to be thousands of years old dating back to Mesoamerican festivals.

While many families solemnly visit the graves of lost loved ones, great exuberant parades and festivals celebrate the continuity of life.  Many families will create alters to honor and welcome the souls of their loved ones.  These alters are decorated with candles, skulls, flowers, and offerings of the deceased favorite foods.

Las Catrinas is a prominent presence during Day Of The Dead celebrations.  Figurines decorate some of the alters and village centers.  They are crafted from many materials including papier-mâché, pottery, wood and even chocolate.  Las Catrinas images are recreated in stoneware, paintings, nichos, and dioramas.  Festival-goers will paint their faces and wear the broad rimmed hat associated with Catrina.  She has become an inspiration to artists throughout Mexico.

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