While half the world celebrates Halloween, MesoAmerica celebrates Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
It's a day when friends and relatives gather to remember those who have departed. Technically, I think it's celebrated on November 2nd, but most people I know celebrate from October 31st through November 2nd.
Since we lived so far from relatives, I remember celebrating this holiday only once with my family while we were on holiday in Mexico. I was very young, and we went to visit my grandmother's grave on my father's side.
My father, knowing we were rapscallions (descended from the same) warned us that if we strayed off the path in the cemetery, snakes and ghouls would carry us off. --There was no end to my father's stellar parenting skills. LOL.
Obviously, we were terrified, me constantly glancing up at the trees, knowing a giant snake could easily drop down and whisk me away. We were the quietest, most well behaved children you could imagine.
Even when we reached my grandmother's grave, we remained somber. On the other hand, my parents, aunts and uncles, and assorted cousins were laughing and telling stories.
Día de los Muertos is a day of thoughtful remembrance and celebration. It's not a sad time at all, though if the death was recent it could be. For the most part everyone gathers to pay their respects to the dead and to celebrate the life they lived. We drink a toast to them, share our food and our stories about the deceased.
I like this holiday a lot. I miss my friends and relatives who have already gone, but I'd like to believe that on this one day, maybe they come back to reassure us they are well and happy--especially when we remember them.
We all die. What matters most is how we live.
Despite my father's simple solution for keeping us in line, fright night didn't have a lasting effect. To this day I love visiting cemeteries, reading the inscriptions on the stones and wondering what that person was like in life.
Surely, I can't be the only one who thinks like this. How about you?
Are cemeteries scary or comforting? Has anything weird ever happened to you at a cemetery (barring, of course, you didn't have a father like mine)? :-)
Happy Día de los Muertos
The blog tour continues on November 5th, but I'll be posting before then here on this blog. Stay tuned. More good stuff on the way.
Water, Communication & Food - Last week I griped about being *too *connected, but in light of the recent tornadoes in Texas and Oklahoma, I have to eat my words. There are times when co...
8 hours ago