The Day of the Dead celebration is one full of beauty, joy, laughter and art. It is a celebration in which the living and the dead are reunited. The children and infants are the first to visit (November 1st), then after they depart the spirits of the deceased come and enjoy there part of the celebration (November 2nd). Celebrations, as well as customs, vary regionally. Some visit the cemetery and participate in a big communal celebration, while others just clean and decorate their loved ones grave without joining the big communal celebration. Some celebrations are held during the dead while others are held at night. But everywhere you look in Mexico the main part of this celebration is family orientated and privet.
Preparing For The Big Day
To many preparing for this big day is part of the celebration itself. Going out, walking from place to place looking at the magnificent items being sold for this day fill the people up with excitement and momentum. Preparations usually begin around October but for some, like the sellers that have to gather the merchandize, preparation might start earlier. To the people of western culture that preserving everything for as long as possible it may seem strange to put an extreme amount of effort into making a product that will be thrown away and or destroyed. But to the Mexican people, especially the indigenous Oaxacan’s it is not. To them keeping such items for next year’s celebration is absurd, so they start from scratch ever year. Families with a limited budget don’t care about how big the expenses turn out to honor their dead; they’ll get a second job or work things out with the vendor, all they really care about it having a magnificent alter and celebration for their returning family souls. Occasionally on November 3 people exchange items, like food, and drinks to pay off their debt.
During the month of October the in the rural areas streets are close due to the massive amount of people hectically shopping in preparations for this day. Common good in urban markets become exotic to those in the rural areas, so merchants and trades from afar all prepare for this day in which they know there items will sell. These trades come and sell things like potter, wooden
cooking utensils, plastic toys, factory made items, and chocolate. Feathers, exotic fruit, baskets, paper puppets, decorative items and sophisticated papel picado are also highly requested.
Families happily purchase new pots because it is in these new pots that they will cook there traditional foods like champurado, alote, all types of mole, tamales, etc. It has also now become time to purchase incense burners. Incent burners are three-legged bowls about 10cm I diameter to which they add little hand formed figures such as skeletons or angels on the rims. Incent burner are essential to burn copal. Copal comes in two grades. The lower grade which is gray, cloudy and includes bits of tree bark, and the higher grade which is clear and tends to be yellow....