The Day Of The Dead Essay

1138 words - 5 pages

VOCABULARY LISTEl Día de los Muertos - All Souls' Day.el altar - the ofrenda - the calaca - the skeleton (colloquialism).la calavera - the skull.pan de muertos - All Souls' Day bread.flor de muertos - All Souls' Day flower.alabanza - Catholic hymn of praise.calaca - In Mexico it refers to the Grim Reaper, a skeleton figure representing death.calavera - Literally, skull; (1)imaginary and satirical obituaries which appear innewspapers; (2)satirical verses.calaverada - Tomfoolery; wild behavior.calaverear - From skull, meaning to live it up or act recklessly.cempazuchitl - Yellow marigold which symbolizes death; also called zempasuciti..El Dia de Difuntos - Used synonymously with Dia de los Muertos.hojaldra - Sweet bread made for the Festival of the Dead.los angelitos - Young children who have died and who are remembered on the feast of AllSaints' Noche de Duelo - 'The Night of Mourning', the beginning of Dia de los Muertos in Mexico, where there is a candlelight procession to the cemetery, in which friends and relativesbring food and flowers, have a meal there, and decorate an altar to thedeceased.ofrenda - Offerings set out for the returning souls during All Saints' and All Souls' Days; italso often refers to the actual altar with offerings.pan de los Muertos - 'Bread of the Dead'; slightly sweet bread loaf, with coils of dough depicting bones or skulls baked on top.rosquete - Sweet bread made for the Festival of the Dead.Todos Santos - All Saints'Day.zenpasuchitl - A type of marigold, bright orange and yellow, that is the traditional flower of thedead. Also cempasuichil.Tumbas - graves, tombs.The Days of the DeadThe Days of the Dead (los Días de los Muertos) is an ancient tradition that comes alive every year at the end of October, and the beginning of November. Mexico commemorates the Days of the Dead on November 1st and 2nd. The people who celebrate the Days of the Dead believe that death is only the door through which each soul passes to another state of life. These planes of existence are on different levels yet exist together. Communication between these levels is constant. The Days of the Dead is a celebration of this communication that takes place once a year.The original celebration can be traced to the festivities held during the Aztec month of Miccailhuitontli, ritually presided by the goddess Mictecacihuatl ('Lady of the Dead'), and dedicated to children and the dead. The Rituals during this month also featured a festivity dedicated to the major Aztec war deity, Huitzilopochtli ('Sinister Hummingbird'). In the Aztec calendar, this ritual fell roughly at the end of the Gregorian month of July and the beginning of the Christian holiday of All Hallows Eve (in Spanish: 'Día de Todos Santos,') in a vain effort to transform this from a 'profane' to a Christmas celebration. The result is that Mexicans now celebrate the Days of the Dead during the first two days of November, rather than at the...

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