October 29, 2010

NOVEMBER 2: DAY OF THE DEAD

   
  
As a Catholic, I celebrate November 1 as All Saint’s Day and November 2 as All Soul’s Day. (And, November 15, as my birthday!) I pray to the Saints for my family’s well being and for the souls of my loved ones in heaven.

November 2 is also regarded as the Day of the Dead by Mexicans and Mexican-Americans everywhere. It sounds like a “dark” concept, but it’s actually a beautiful tradition of honoring and remembering loved ones that passed away.

In the Mexican tradition, one would build an “altar” to a lost loved one and say prayers in their honor. My mother would turn over in her grave if I were to build an altar for her or Papi. My Abuela would love it though. I won’t be building any altars anytime soon, but I will be thinking of my lost loved ones – Mami, Papi, Mama (my grandmother), cousin Larry. I pray that they are all together and having a wonderful time in heaven.

However, I am interested in the Day of the Dead and the traditions behind it. I’ve found some books that look interesting, even some for children, and I’ve shared them below. I’ve also found a website dedicated exclusively to the Day of Dead, check it out here.   And if you are interested in Day of the Dead crafts, there is no one better than the Crafty Chica herself, Kathy Cano-Murillo.  Check her website at http://www.craftychica.com/.

Whatever your nationality and your traditions, do make it a point to celebrate life and love. I like to think that my loved ones continue to live through me as long as I keep them in my heart and remember them.   Que Dios los bendiga siempre.


COMMENT:  Do leave a comment and let us know what you like best about the Day of the Dead traditions, and do recommend other books on the subject.  Thanks.---mcf