I’ve developed some sort of a fascination for South- and Latin-America lately. I don’t know what intrigues me the most – the amazing wildlife and natural wonders, the warm hearted people living there or the extraordinary and harmonic culture. I do know that western companies are tearing the coninent apart. Ever since South-America was «discovered» by the west, there’s been a systematic oppression and exploitation of both natural resources and human beings. To me, the fact that so much of the old traditions and celebrations has been preserved says something about the strength and power of South America.
The celebration that I find the most interesting
is the Latin-American El Día de Los Muertos – The day of the Dead.
The Day of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico, Latin America and across the United States each year on November 2nd, right after Halloween. On contrary to the western (and highly commercial) celebration, Día de Los Muertos is not about dressing up like Spiderman and threatning old folks to give you candy. It’s a festival for the dead, where they are as much a part of the event as the living. Instead of being morned, they are celebrated. People visit the graves of friends and family, where they gossip and eat and laugh with them. It’s said to be the day the dead walk the earth! … Zombie night, so to speak.
There are many versions of the old tradition, since it’s been blended in to and adopted to fit in with all kinds of religions and cultures, but where there’s being celebrated Día de Los Muertos, you can be pretty sure there will be bright lights, parades, dancing and colorful decorations. One of those decorations are the Sugar Skulls. Hand made and decorated skull shaped candy. They come in all shapes and sizes, and are sold everywhere during the celebrations. Yum.
This year, I plan on celebrating Él Dia de Los Muertos myself. I found the recipe for sugar skulls and persuaded Sofie to help me with all the other preperations. If the weather’s not too bad we plan on spending the evening at the cemetary.
… if you dare.