Novel Research: Día de Muertos

muertos-1024x1024
I’ve noticed that the last few posts have been personal ones with heavy topics being discussed, so I wanted to make my last post for a month a more cheerful one (NaNoWriMo is upon me, I must obey it’s commands!). I love the Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. I love:
~The symbolism
marigolds
alfonso-castillo-skull-r
day-dead-la-calaca-festival
~The artwork (especially skull mask tattoos),
butterfly skull
day_of_the_dead_gypsy_crest_piece_tattoo_by_sam_phillips_nz-d51u4ll
~The sugar skull candies and alters
sugar skulls
Alters
~the skeleton figurines
Catrinas_2
To me it is one of the most fascinating cultural events.

“Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a bank holiday. The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the triduum of Allhallowtide: All Hallows’ Eve, Hallowmas, and All Souls’ Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world. In Brazil, Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain there are festivals and parades and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones.” -Wikipedia

Then there’s Santa Muerte, who naturally plays a role in Día de Muertos,
santa-muerte
she’s the female embodiment of death who is associated with healing, protection, and safe delivery to the afterlife by her devotees. Santa Muerte even has her own personal cult. I’m also a big fan of Deadpool and I’ve noticed that the depiction of Lady Death in the Marvel universe and Santa Muerte are quite similar in appearance.
Lady Death - Deadpool
Although, Lady Death is considerably bustier than Santa Muerte.

So, what kind of cultural holiday/celebration/tradition do you enjoy most? Let me know in the comments.

Links:
Day of The Dead – Wikipedia
Celebrate Day of The Dead – Day of The Dead Facts
Day of the Dead history: Ritual dating back 3000 years
Day of the Dead/El Dia de Muertos: Celebration, History & Origins
Halloween 2014: How Mexican People Celebrate the Day of the Dead

3 comments

  1. Do you know how many people have come into work wanting more Deadpool Pops/posters/comics/graphic novels/merch? I’ve gotten such that I want to growl and shove them head-first into the MtG shelf. (I won’t, I swear. I’ll smile and be nice.) Deadpool might actually be so awesome the questions are deserved, but man, I’d love to be asked about something that is not Deadpool (or something so obscure nobody’s ever heard of it). It was a relief to be asked about wrestling figures yesterday, seriously.

    I actually don’t have a holiday or tradition I connect with, because most of the ones I know from experience are so strongly associated with family and a religion I don’t follow. I’m figuring out what my spirituality even is. I think some of the Japanese traditions (I studied Japanese throughout high school) are beautiful – Hinamatsuri appeals to me as doll collector, and in fact I love the cultural/spiritual significance of dolls (ningyo) in Japanese culture in general. But I tend to view even this through a sort of anthropological lens, too: how holiday, ritual, spiritual practice and ceremony function in terms of society, so again, no real connectedness.

    (Not so long ago I found the idea of having a personal hero to be absolutely baffling, so this might be another one of the things I figure out as I grow up. The idea of being connected to other people is not something I feel by nature.)

    • Naw, that’s a shame, I love the “Cable and Deadpool” comic-book series, one of my faves (seriously you have wrestling figurines?). Fair enough about the Holiday thing, Christmas is a nightmare every year because both my partner and I have divorced families and we have to alternate every year between Victoria and Wentworth/Mildura. I completely agree with you on the Hinamastsuri festival, it’s beautiful, but don’t feel too bad about having problems with connecting to people, a lot of people are arseholes 😀

      • We have wrestling Pops, yes. I thought we wouldn’t sell them, but we have. Go figure.

        (I’m still laying a bet that we’re not going to sell the two Jar Jar Binks Pops, though. Because even the dude who bought the wrestling Pops made a crack about Jar Jar Binks.)

        I personally consider any holiday with the gathering of family members to be a nightmare. On the upside, I’m currently writing a story about the gathering of family members, so fuel for that fire, right?

        Maybe one day I’ll meet and date a girl/person who has a wicked awesome family and come around on the family holiday thing. Right now I’ll just shrug and enjoy non-holiday days as the special ones.

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