MEXICO. - In Mexico and in some parts of the United States that now has a large Hispanic presence, this celebration is one of the main events of the year. Patzcuaro, a city located in the Mexican state of Michoacan, is a unique place where these celebrations are the most picturesque, and on the Day of the Dead it’s a time where those who are gone are received.
Converted into a party that combines joy with solemnity, the Day of the Dead is a Mexican celebration of Pre-Hispanic origin, which is deeply rooted in a society that paradoxically is battered by violence.
In the United States while Halloween is celebrated, this other day is also celebrated in several states. The reason for this according to the Pew Hispanic Center is that based on a population census in 2011, in the country there are more than 31 million Mexicans, equivalent to 65% of the total Latino population.
The date of November 2nd has become so important, that this date has been declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Celebration.
The origins of this celebration in the Aztec country predates to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. As recorded in historical records, ethnic groups such as the Mexica, Maya, Purepecha, Nahuatl and Totonac had already been celebrating this date in style.
The Living and Dead unite
David Martinez Amador, who is a professor of Anthropology and Classical Ethnographies of Organized Crime at Guatemala's Rafael Landivar University, said in an interview with Efe, that what can be seen is "a process of syncretism that repeats", and in its beginnings, Christianity was the faith of the poor and that of the slaves, where they would all gathered around the figure of Jesus.
"When Christianity was ‘Romanized’, it adopted the cult of the dead, in which is something from the Roman pagan world where: the living and the dead coexist and are held together by means of particular rituals to honor those who have passed away, by symbolically feeding them and given them drinks ... ", the expert adds.
In fact, in the Pre-Hispanic era the skulls were kept as trophies to be shown in rituals to symbolize death and resurrection, then the party presided to the Mictecacíhuatl goddess, who is considered as the "Lady of Death", which currently is represented by "La Catrina".