DÍA DE MUERTOS

BY ANA RUIZ

Today you are going to be the talent. You are going to keep alive a tradition that makes the ones that are not here anymore feel celebrated like no other day.

Mexico’s traditional Day of the Dead  will be part of your house this year. Today you will learn about  the essential elements and how to set up your ofrenda with a family handcraft activity.

Mexican people that follow this tradition understand the importance of memories, of remembering the good old days with the ones that have passed away, and remembering their favorite meals, drinks and games. In this celebration, that lasts from November 1st to the 2nd,  death doesn’t represent absence, it is a living presence of connection. The word ofrenda comes from offering, and we offer to be close to our deceased ones more time at least once a year creating a tribute of our memories together. 

On November 1st, we dedicate the ofrenda to  the “saints”(children) and on the 2nd we celebrate the faithful departed (adults).

In order to feel this extraordinary experience yourself, we will create the ofrenda together.

You will need: 

-Tissue paper of vivid colors.

-Photo frames of the deceased you want to remember. 

-Candles.

-Incense if you like.

-A favorite meal or even snack of the deceased (non-perishable food preferably)

-Their favorite drink.

-Games or activities the deceased enjoyed.

-Table cloth

-Shoe boxes, or cardboard boxes.

If you find the iconic cempasúchil flower (marigold), it will be the perfect addition as it is believed that you can scatter the petals to create a path so the souls will not get lost.

Dating as far back as our prehispanic roots, the ofrenda is a way to keep memories alive. Don’t worry, you won’t be summoning any dead souls, the ofrenda is built on the belief that life and death should both be celebrated and memories relived.  

Start by choosing the area where the ofrenda will be placed (it could be on a table or even on the floor).With the boxes you create different levels for your ofrenda to sit on, use the table cloth to cover them.. 

The artistic part is coming up: the papel picado made out of tissue paper. Fold each tissue paper in half and in half again. Now  let yourself go cutting different figures onto the paper and designing different frames such as the pictures below.

You can make  so many different designs to add color to  your ofrenda!

Add your papel picado to the different layers of your creative stage, continue by  adding the photo frames and candles all around the place. 

Think about the memories you made together, add those memories to your ofrenda with  the games you played together,  the jokes you laughed at together, the trips, and the dreams you shared. There is not a right or wrong way to make your ofrenda, let yourself go and enjoy your memories. 

The next time you visit Mexico during this time of the year, don’t forget to visit Oaxaca, Michoacan or Puebla; these states’ Day of the Dead  celebrations will be the most significant experience you will have. Jaunt Mexico has the best private tours for you to adequately learn about the tradition and live it first hand. Plus the gourmet experience will leave you speechless and you will book immediately for the next Mexican Destination.

In 2008 UNESCO declared this festivity  Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, welcome this authentic tradition to your home and keep the memories alive. 

Let us be part of the Jaunt and share your ofrenda with us by tagging @jauntmexico on your posts. 


References:

(2017)DIY PAPEL PICADO: MAKE CUT PAPER BANNERS FOR DAY OF THE DEAD. Retrieved from https://www.thinkmakeshareblog.com/diy-papel-picado/

Valverde. (N.D). How to Make a Day of the Dead Altar? Retrieved from https://livecolorful.com/2013/10/how-to-make-a-day-of-the-dead-altar/ (N.D) Dover: Papel Picado. Retrieved from http://www.doverpublications.com/zb/samples/489949/sample4e.htm 

(2018). ¿Cómo hacer tu propia ofrenda de Día de Muertos?. Retrieved from https://www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx/haz-tu-propia-ofrenda-de-dia-de-muertos.html 

INAFED. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.gob.mx/inafed/es/articulos/dia-de-muertos-tradicion-mexicana-que-trasciende-en-el-tiempo?idiom=es 

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