Thursday, November 01, 2012

Today is Day of the Innocents..Tomorrow is Day of the Dead

Grave in Terlingua Cemetery
Click photo to get a closer view
Permanent display recognizes
community Day of the Dead celebration
This time of year, many of our communities plan remembrances for past loved ones in Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead celebrations.  Terlingua, El Paso, Marfa have hosted celebrations, and visits to regional cemeteries reveal some private remembrances at the graves. Visit cemeteries around this time of year and you'll see evidence of recent care and objects left in memory of loved ones.

"In most regions of Mexico, November 1 is to honor children and infants, whereas deceased adults are honored on November 2. This is indicated by generally referring to November 1 mainly as Día de los Inocentes ("Day of the Innocents") but also as Día de los Angelitos ("Day of the Little Angels") and November 2 as Día de los Muertos or Día de los Difuntos ("Day of the Dead")," according to Wikipedia.

"People go to cemeteries to be with the souls of the departed and build private altars containing the favorite foods and beverages, as well as photos and memorabilia, of the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them. Celebrations can take a humorous tone, as celebrants remember funny events and anecdotes about the departed.
From a celebration in El Paso

Plans for the day are made throughout the year, including gathering the goods to be offered to the dead. During the three-day period, families usually clean and decorate graves; most visit the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried and decorate their graves with ofrendas (offerings), which often include orange Mexican marigolds (Tagetes erecta) called cempasúchil (originally named cempoaxochitl, Nahuatl for "twenty flowers")."
Altar in El Paso for Day of the Dead
Candles and marigolds left in front
of a Day of the Dead altar in El Paso

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