The celebration of the day of the dead in southern Mexico is something that majorities fervently hope to live with the people who have departed for the journey without return.
We have a guest author, Javi Torres de Chilpancingo, Guerrero; he has his own words why some mourning the day of the dead, in the pantheon, sing to their deceased, eat with them, offer mezcal and get drunk in dear graves.
The celebration of the day of the dead in southern Mexico is something that majorities fervently hope to live with the people who have departed for the journey without return. That day people mourn their dead, but they also live with them; tells them how much their absence weighs.
When is the day of the dead celebrated in southern Mexico?
It is the 1st and 2nd of November that throughout Mexico is celebrated on the day of the deceased saints.
The 1st of that month is celebrated those who died as children.
The next day, the deceased adults are remembered in the ritual of the dead.
Why is Mexico's Day of the Dead celebrated?
In Mexico, the deceased are commemorated on that time, because it is believed that the souls of the dead return to homes to enjoy the flowers, drinks and food offered to them by their loved ones.
Preparations to welcome the dead
In advance, people acquire, or dust off, the best tablecloth to cover the table that will contain the offerings for their deceased ones.
Ornaments in the house, where the souls of the dead return
In most homes of Chilpancingo and most southern states of Mexico, on a table, placed next to a wall; covered with colorful tablecloths are laid the offerings to the dead: bread, fruits, atole, tamales, cane, bananas, mezcal and other foods and drinks that the deceased liked.
Around the table or in a few parts of it, as well as on the wall are placed ornaments such as:
- Flowers of cempasúchil, which are yellow and smelly, are also known in this region as "flowers of the dead".
- Candles and candles are not lacking in the table of offerings to the deceased.
- The ornament on the table and the flowers on the wall is called an altar to the dead, or simply Altar.
- In some homes, on the altar, either on the wall or at the table, photos of loved ones who have gone on the journey without return are placed
- Food and drinks are placed on the table so that the souls of the dead, who return in those days, feed on the scent. After those days, people consume the food they offered to their dead.
Tomb arrangements to celebrate the dead
Before the day of the dead, people turn to the pantheons to fix the graves of their loved ones.
Some, whose tombs are concrete, paint them; the poorest, who did not have to make cement burials, with shovels pile up land until they get the shape of someone sleeping under that land.
This is the basis of the dead, so that the day of the dead may come to visit their dead.
Day of the Dead of the Little Ones
November 1 is the day when the souls of the deceased children return home to taste the candy, biscuits and other foods that relatives put on the offering table.
That afternoon, relatives bring flowers to the little ones' graves.
Adult Dead Day
November 2nd is the celebration of the adult dead.
At the offering table, apart from favorite foods, family members put mezcal, beer or other intoxicating drink that the person who has died liked, but who returns on this day to visit their home and smell the food and drinks.
In some households, especially from rural communities surrounding Chilpancingo, people form paths with cempasúchil flowers, where there are candles lit at night, from the altar to several meters outside the house, so that the dead find it easier find home and food.
Delivery of flowers and cohabiting with the dead, in the pantheon
In the afternoon, the first, but especially on 2 November, the relatives of the dead move to the pantheons to live with their deceased.
After placing the flowers in the graves, the relatives, bring the food they liked to their dead; serve a plate to the deceased, to eat with them.
If the dead loved mezcal, beer or other intoxicating drink, family members bring that drink to the pantheon and toast with their family.
On that day, everywhere the tombs you hear music, especially ranchera, with which the relatives celebrate their dead.
Crying is also heard, sometimes remaining, sometimes strong in the crypts, coming from the mourning.
There are those who, they tell the dead, loudly or are left, how much they have been missed and how much they are loved.
When it starts to get dark, the pantheons are left alone with their dead in the graves; the lights of the candles wind all over the tombs.
And the silence gradually takes over the pantheons.
Offering contests in schools and institutions
In many states of Mexico, during day-of-the-day celebrations, schools and government institutions promote this tradition: they hold contests of offerings and altars to the deceased.
Students of all levels make their altars and offerings to the dead in their respective schools.
They also celebrate the day of the dead in schools, in costumes. However, here there is a syncretism between the Mexican tradition of the day of the dead with the celebration of The Halloween of the United States. So it is common to observe pumpkin costumes, women with Catrinas makeup, death (which brings their scythe to the shoulder) witches or Freddy Krueger.
Contests of offerings to the dead promoted by the government of the states of southern Mexico
On the esplanade of the plinth of the city of Chilpancingo, in those days of the dead, it is common to observe a large number of altars and offerings of the dead, who participate in the contest promoted by the government of Guerrero. The same is done in other states of the country.
Of all regions of the state, staff of government institutions participate in this contest. On those days, people come to look at the various altars and offerings to the dead.
During day-of-the-day celebrations, people make altars to their deceased and place offerings on them. On these occasions too, the pantheons receive the relatives of the deceased. And in those places you hear the cries but also the melodies in honor of those who have gone to the trip to which we will all go one day.