Essay on The Day of the Dead: Critical Analysis of Articles
After reading the three out of five articles; Mexico’s Special Relationship with Day of the Dead, What we can learn from U.S Day of the Dead Celebration, and An Ancient and Modern Festival. All three articles mentioned many similar factual information and descriptions, but included their own statements and details/facts that contrasted with each articles that I read. The main question in two of the articles I read is questioning how El Día de los Muertos became associated within Mexico or United States.
The article, Mexico’s Special Relationship with Day of the Dead, answers immediately by stating, ‘Mexicans, more than any other people, have a ‘special relationship with death.’… Mexicans ‘caress’ death, ‘sleep’ with it, ‘celebrate’ it, and consider it their ‘most steadfast love,’ (Mexico’s Special Relationship with Day of the Dead, 21). Mexicans have an intimate relationship with death which makes sense to me on why they celebrate it for their own cultural reasons. I may not totally understand that spiritually nor personally because I don’t have any personal connection with El Día de los Muertos or ‘relationship with death,’ but I can understand that people may put on their alter a connection surrounded with El Día de los Muertos.
The article, An Ancient and Modern Festival provide their alter to create ceremony with ‘both European and Indigenous remembrance practices seen in Day of the Dead rituals through out Latin America,’ (An Ancient and Modern Festival, 9). I learned that Indigenous and Roman Catholic rituals are honoring the deceased in celebrating/interacting in many activities, such as making their native food and performing dances. Their key practices that they create/participate in their alter is ‘sprucing up family grave sited by weeding, cleaning and visiting them; refurbishing old headstones and crosses; placing flowers and candles on graves; constructing home shrines to honor departed relatives; preparing special holiday foods or drinks; and attending Catholic Church services,’ (An Ancient and Modern Festival, 11). What these people put on their alter about The Day of the Dead, is for the purpose of ‘celebrations transmit messages about identity, struggle, and universal human experience, making a tangible impact on the lives of participants,’ (What we can learn from U.S Day of the Dead Celebration, 140).
I learned that based on the social practices, rather than biological characteristics, is Day of the Dead in the USA is flexible and changing everyday based on who the individual is and how they worship it on their own alter. Many people many engage in this celebration/communion for spiritual needs, community development or emotional support, depending on who you are. What I would put on my own alter to visit and participate in for power and points of focus is about myself and my journey of whatever I am working on, such as doing good in college and graduating with a great job that I am passionate for. What I would put on my personal alter is a message box that I would visit daily to state my goals and intentions to remain attentive of what this alter purpose is. I would also put incenses for air and plants for purity and relaxing vibes.
The observations that I made during the experience was the many loud sounds I heard. Some came from the stage which plays music, some from the food cooking, and most were people interacting with others. I smell a lot of delicious food they sold, including beef, tacos, and funnel cake. The day of the dead are known for its food and altar, so I bought a funnel cake, horchata, and a long beef with cheese. I had horchata in the...
Due to the media’s prevalence and the role it plays in informing the people and shaping their views, the call for diversity has become important for many. With people realizing the lack of representation of other races, ethnicities, sexualities, and gender in the media they consume, those in charge of what is being created and released are now given the responsibility to make sure that the new content being pushed is out is inclusive. If media companies fall behind on...
Mexican culture and America culture have many similarities and differences when it comes to death and the afterlife. Similarities include mourning, funerals, wakes, and dressing in black clothing. Some differences are that in Mexico, right after someone dies there is a much longer wake lasts the entire night. The loved one is surrounded by friends and family and is not left alone for a single second. Another difference is that the burial must take place the following day. The reason...
Día de los Muertos celebrates the lives of our departed loved ones, and the new life that comes from death. The tradition helps us to recognize that death is just the next step in life’s journey, and that no one really dies as long as they live on in our memories. The history of the day traces all the way back to the Aztecs. The Aztecs believed that the souls of their ancestors went to an underworld called Mictlān, where...
In English, Día de los Muertos means “day of the dead”. The main purpose of this holiday is to honor and remember the dead. The holiday acknowledges the spirits of dead people, and that pleased spirits will provide people with a better life through means like wisdom. Many festivals, memorials, and traditions occur during this holiday for the dead to be honored and remembered. Día de los Muertos is a three-day holiday celebrated from October 31st to November 2nd. At...
Culture is the characteristic of a certain group of people that defined things such as what language they speak, the type of religion they are, or the type of lifestyle they have and many other things. When it comes to cultures it’s very different for people in different societies, not everyone has the same culture and especially they do not share the same one. Culture varies in different things such as the foods they eat, again the religion they have...
This past weekend on October 26, 2019, I attended the 36th annual “Viva La Vida Parade and Festival” in Austin, Texas. This event was to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead, during this event they had authentic and traditional Mexican food with live music from Mexican artists. What caught me off guard during this entire event was the fact that they had a low-rider exhibition, yes you read that correctly, they had a low-rider exhibition! I...
Almost all religions and cultures of different countries have their own perception of death. Some think of it as the end of life, some believe it’s part of life, and to others, it’s an exit to another life. Many cultures have regarded the dead with respect and have even designated holidays to honor the dearly departed. During such times, people visit graves, clean tombstones, have food offerings, regale on stories about loved ones who have passed away, and more. At...
On Saturday November 2nd, I went back home to celebrate Dia de los Muertos with my family. That weekend, my ballet folklorico dance instructor hosted the 12th annual Dia de los Muertos event at the Conejo Mountain Memorial Park, located in the city of Camarillo. This community event was free of charge and open to all to support local businesses and food vendors, view the impressive altars made for those who have passed, and of course, enjoy live entertainment. The...
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