Nov 2nd-The Day of the dead is a celebration of love and food.
The holiday is rooted in Mexican tradition and practiced heavily in the states. The intention is to celebrate and honor loved ones who have passed. As a part of the celebration people create altars or ofrendas in their homes and of course there is food.
On this day I was able to join my good friend in creating her altar and gain some insights into the traditions. A good altar might include the following:
- Photos of departed loved ones.
- Liquor bottles or shots of the deceased favorite drinks.
- The color purple-holy in its own right but also representing resurrection.
- Symbolic and Favorite foods: Including fresh bananas, persimmon, lemons, Mexican sweet breads-Pan Dulce or my favorite the Conchas-Shell shaped. (Not to be confused with innards! These breads are delicious and come in all different shapes and can be filled or sugar dusted). Bread of the dead or Pan de Muerto-a sweet roll and sugar skulls. Some people go as far as to produce real foods like a bowl of mole or tamales-we are not those people.
- Flowers-traditionally the marigold but orange and fall flowers permeate the altars.
I have put an altar up for many years and the beauty, ritual, respect and remembrance never fails to lift my own spirits. Don’t forget to pick up some extra pan dulce, you know for later, with tea!