Dia de los Muertos, as experienced by Mazie
The mexican holiday “Dia de Los Muertos” is a celebration of the dead. Families gather around graveyards to honor the people they lost. With flowers, candles, and gifts, the families tell stories, and enjoy the memories they had. After stories and giving out the gifts, such as pottery, flowers, books and candles, people get out the delicious treats and foods for a night-time picnic.
The foods and treats are quite traditional; tamales are set on clay plates, pan de la muerte lays on homemade cloths, tea bags and brewed in cups are set on a tray full of flowers, beans cooked and dry in bowls , rice is poured into the vases, coffee beans are sprinkled on the top planks, and sugar skulls sitting on table cloths.
The families also include costumes, and face paints for the children to dress up.
A favorite of the mexican children is “pan de la muerte.” This fun, home-made treat is a decorated bread, containing a small, skeleton doll, for some lucky child to find.
A few days before the real celebration, we gather at my school at night, to show-off our art and costumes. We have a contest, and most of the kids dress as skeletons, and dress up in all sorts of different dresses, and the boys in “sombreros” and cloaks. The winner receives books from the library, and a sugar skull.