"El dia de los muertos"... A basic, yet thourough explanation and description of Mexico's "Day Of The Dead" Holiday.

Essay by BigJimManHigh School, 10th gradeA+, September 2006

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In Mexico, the people celebrate a holiday called "La día de los Muertos", the day of the dead. The holiday is between October 31st and November 2nd. The purpose of this holiday is to welcome the dead back into the house to enjoy some of the pleasures they enjoyed while they were alive. The deceased members of the family return to the living world for a day and return to their houses and favorite places. Many Mexican families spend a full two-month's earning for this one celebration. The reason for this is that the typical Mexican family does not usually take vacations or days off, so fiestas like the day of the dead are the Mexican's only luxury. During this celebrations the Mexicans have many types of decorations and traditions. One of these traditions are the calaveras. Calaveras are fake skulls used to decorate the fiesta. Calaveras can be made from paper machete, wood, clay, and even sugar candy or marzipan.

The "Panes de Los muertos" are the breads of the dead. The bread is sweet bread that is sprinkled with sugar and spices; sometimes decorated with a calavera and cooked the old-fashioned way, for the fiesta. They also use special incense made from tree resin for the altar called Copal. Copal is used to attract the dead spirits to the altar so that they may enjoy the food their living family has prepared for them; Copal is only burned when the food is being served. Candles are also very important to the celebration. The candles used to decorate the altar are always either white or yellow. Each candle they place on the altar represents one departed soul from the family. Flowers are also used to decorate the altar. The special flowers they pick out are said to...