Rus Articles Journal

November 1 - Day of the Dead. How from funeral feast Mexicans arranged a holiday?

I Ask not to confuse to Halloween - anything the general. Also poorly general with the Day of Angels falling on November 2 and with All Saints` Day celebrated in the Catholic countries on November 1. Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is not day of mourning left, and the real holiday based on symbiosis of ancient pagan beliefs of the Indians who became modern the Latino and the best traditions of Christianity. From this symbiosis elegant and cheerful Day of the Dead, day which Central America, and in particular North American Mexico, long before approach and Day of Saints, and Day of Angels begins to celebrate turned out.

If we hooked on these Catholic holidays, I will tell about the first impression of the Catholic remembrance days. It happened to me to live in Normandy in From about 30 - 35 years ago - a surrealism - Seong, in Rouen where October - the beginning of November in the valley of the river Seine and are given especially soft for the coast of English Channel, warm, transparent, colourful from abundance of the vegetation blazing autumn colors.

And here to such - that days all France goes to the cemeteries with bouquets of the same bright flowers and lamps. With approach of early darkness French light funeral candles on each mogilka, remember the dead men and with purely French estheticism admire by sight the night cemetery shining from awe of lamps. It seems that smother left this trembling communicate with us still living, who did not learn secrets of an eternal non-existence yet.

Thoughts of life eternal, about eternal rest in other miroprebyvaniye, light tranquility, sincere harmony with inevitability of transition to other wonderful worlds Here such taste at the remembrance days. Here about this state it is told: the silent angel flew by


But on the date of the Dead angels rush intoxicated, daring, bakhusny, obzhoristy, prokazisty, noisy, cheerful. And, as I already mentioned, long before a holiday of the Dead. Especially in temperamental Mexico.

3000 years ago the Inca, the Maya and Aztecs called by present Mexicans extremely esteemed the dead. Some tribes believed that while skulls of their dead men are with them in dwellings, souls of the dead stay in their sort too - the tribe. They stored the things belonging to the dead, totemizirovat their skeletons, brought them requitals. From here also went to construct custom altars from skulls and personal belongings to the dead men and to celebrate cheerful funeral feasts on left.

Beliefs ancient presented to afterlife for them death only as transition to other form, and the death was regarded not as death, and as revival to new life. Ancient realized the indissoluble communication with the dead men who are absent actually through primitive human acts: through fetishization of skulls, through eating of food in the form of skulls, wearing wooden masks - scalps, dances in the masks representing dead men through eating of the products loved by the deads, drink of their favourite drinks and also by gifts ( of ofrendas ) to an altar of favourite things of dead men.

The Spanish conquistadors who came 500 years ago to lands of Central America and modern Mexico, naturally, saw in this barbarous, from their point of view, culture a call to Christian dogmas. They long time tried to okatolichit tradition of cheerful funeral feast by dogmatically ceremonious funeral liturgy. But that it 500 years against three millennia

For the ninth month of the Aztec solar calendar falling on August - September, Aztecs began festivals in honor of the goddess Miktekatsikhuatl who died at the birth. Gradually the cult of this goddess turned into a cult of the Goddess Smerti. Image of this goddess in an image of the little girl - dead women was visualized. From here the modern custom of horribly cheerful devchenochy carnival - procession in white shirts with images of skeletons went to them. Procession the Goddess Smert, but nowadays her name is already differently - madam Katrina (the elegant woman of fashion - of Cavalera de la heads of Catrina ). You trace pagan roots?

Not in honor of Catholic All Saints` Day, namely in honor of the cheerful Queen Smerti the first day of the Holiday of the Dead on November 1 all Mexico and many states of the USA and Canada celebrate the died children. Children - the first, even at a table of funeral feast.

It is accepted to expose this day altars in houses where there are dead at children`s age. Relatives assign to altars toys, the sugar, caramel, chocolate skulls, special rolls baked in the form of scalps, before altars children`s music sounds, children`s songs are sung, children`s dances and outdoor games are executed. Always leave to the died children the place behind a table d`hote, and fill a children`s plate with beloved children entertainments.

(Compare our funeral glass of vodka under a chernushka piece at a funeral table. Or a glass under a chernushka chunk at a window for a pokoynichka on the sorokovina. Yes identical all of us, people! To you it was wildish, huh? to me on a pervost too. Mentality at us such: at the word death and in particular death of the child the European grieves. The Mexican has an attitude towards death another - he is able to tame death and loves it tamed).

On November 1 () relatives of the died children carry out of Dias de los Angelitos on cemeteries. Gather at graves, spread the striped rugs, decorate mogilka bright with flowers (usually chrysanthemums or gold spheres - of cempasuchitl flower ), besides, toys, candles, spheres, expose the ofrendas (an offer hleba), and cheerful picnic with singing and dances begins. Also they believe that their child surely comes back today to them and spends in the bosom of the family cheerful, tasty, joyful day!

And on November 2 ( of Dias de los Muertos ) Mexicans and the central Latin Americans of the adults esteem. In everyone the district there are differences, but in general it is always a cheerful holiday with carnival processions, with parade of skulls, with invariable tequila as a pokoynichka, and to all participants. Cheeful Mexicans among skulls eat and drink all day on the cemeteries. Parade tsompatly (parade of skulls), masks ( of calacas ) with names of dead men on foreheads, masked, singing, dancing, playing national instruments. And tequila, tequila to

are not alien to this holiday and highbrow inhabitants of the Silicon Valley - especially walk Stanford`s students and university of Arizona. But not to surpass them the Mexican students from National university Mexico City - those were included into the Guinness Book of Records in 2004, having constructed a wall of 5667 skulls!

Even in the house where I live the collective altar is already exposed: residents of the house Latin (and not only) brought origins on an altar of the photo of the left, decorated an altar bright with flowers, figures - skulls, someone dragged even to bank of honey in the form of a skull and the same bottle of tequila. Well - well

Not for nothing all - in 2003 UNESCO was ranked by a holiday of Day of the Dead as treasures - properties of all mankind. Or perhaps and it is necessary to treat death? It is told not by us that what cannot already be changed, it is necessary to be able to accept adequately and positively. And it is obligatory to believe that our darlings who left with us until they are esteemed until we remember them.