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Día de los Muertos

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More than 500 years ago, when the Spanish Conquistadors landed in what is now Mexico, they encountered natives practicing a ritual that seemed to mock death.

It was a ritual the indigenous people had been practicing at least 3,000 years. A ritual the Spaniards would try unsuccessfully to eradicate.

A ritual known today as Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

The ritual is celebrated in Mexico and certain parts of the United States, including the Valley.

Celebrations are held each year in Mesa, Chandler, Guadalupe and at Arizona State University. Although the ritual has since been merged with Catholic theology, it still maintains the basic principles of the Aztec ritual, such as the use of skulls.

Today, people don wooden skull masks called calacas and dance in honor of their deceased relatives. The wooden skulls are also placed on altars that are dedicated to the dead. Sugar skulls, made with the names of the dead person on the forehead, are eaten by a relative or friend, according to Mary J. Adrade, who has written three books on the ritual.

The Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations kept skulls as trophies and displayed them during the ritual. The skulls were used to symbolize death and rebirth.

The skulls were used to honor the dead, whom the Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations believed came back to visit during the monthlong ritual.

Unlike the Spaniards, who viewed death as the end of life, the natives viewed it as the continuation of life. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it. To them, life was a dream and only in death did they become truly awake.

"The pre-Hispanic people honored duality as being dynamic," said Christina Gonzalez, senior lecturer on Hispanic issues at Arizona State University. "They didn't separate death from pain, wealth from poverty like they did in Western cultures."

However, the Spaniards considered the ritual to be sacrilegious. They perceived the indigenous people to be barbaric and pagan.

In their attempts to convert them to Catholicism, the Spaniards tried to kill the ritual.

But like the old Aztec spirits, the ritual refused to die.

To make the ritual more Christian, the Spaniards moved it so it coincided with All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day (Nov. 1 and 2), which is when it is celebrated today.

Previously it fell on the ninth month of the Aztec Solar Calendar, approximately the beginning of August, and was celebrated for the entire month. Festivities were presided over by the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The goddess, known as "Lady of the Dead," was believed to have died at birth, Andrade said.

Today, Day of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico and in certain parts of the United States and Central America.

"It's celebrated different depending on where you go," Gonzalez said.

In rural Mexico, people visit the cemetery where their loved ones are buried. They decorate gravesites with marigold flowers and candles. They bring toys for dead children and bottles of tequila to adults. They sit on picnic blankets next to gravesites and eat the favorite food of their loved ones.

.....

In the United States and in Mexico's larger cities, families build altars in their homes, dedicating them to the dead. They surround these altars with flowers, food and pictures of the deceased. They light candles and place them next to the altar.

"We honor them by transforming the room into an altar," Guerrero said. "We offer incense, flowers. We play their favorite music, make their favorite food."

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I went to Mexico last year while Javier was there waiting out his waiver for Dia de los Muertos. It was the coolest thing ever. They didn't have any parades or anything in his little town but the traditions they did observe were awesome. They made alters and put out all kinds of food. It's for the spirits to come eat. Then after the holiday is over, you can eat the food if you so wish. But, it's the weirdest thing, it has no flavor. Now it could be that way because it's been sitting out for a few days, but they say it's because the spirits came and took the flavor out. I wasn't too crazy about eating food that had been sitting out so I had some of the candy. It was just like eating sugar. There was no flavor at all.

The kids get all dressed up and go "trick or treating". They only dress like scary things though. No fairy pricesses or ninja turtles. It has much more meaning to it then Halloween does. I wish we could be there again this year to experience it again. We won't be able to make it down in November but are going for Christmas so hopefully I'll learn some new things about how they celebrate that holiday.


Just couldn't stay my @ss away!

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Dia de los Muertos is very interesting to me, but I don't know much about it. Javier's family didn't grow up doing much of anything for it and they don't do trick or treating where he lives. I wonder if he even remembers about it every year! But there are some people who take it very seriously...


Don't let the sunshine spoil your rain...just stand up and COMPLAIN!

-Oscar the Grouch

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I went to Mexico last year while Javier was there waiting out his waiver for Dia de los Muertos. It was the coolest thing ever. They didn't have any parades or anything in his little town but the traditions they did observe were awesome. They made alters and put out all kinds of food. It's for the spirits to come eat. Then after the holiday is over, you can eat the food if you so wish. But, it's the weirdest thing, it has no flavor. Now it could be that way because it's been sitting out for a few days, but they say it's because the spirits came and took the flavor out. I wasn't too crazy about eating food that had been sitting out so I had some of the candy. It was just like eating sugar. There was no flavor at all.

The kids get all dressed up and go "trick or treating". They only dress like scary things though. No fairy pricesses or ninja turtles. It has much more meaning to it then Halloween does. I wish we could be there again this year to experience it again. We won't be able to make it down in November but are going for Christmas so hopefully I'll learn some new things about how they celebrate that holiday.

It is interesting how many cultures have a different outlook on the dead than we do. I know that some people won't even let their kids go out "trick or treating" because they believe it's some kind of pagan ritual.

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I went to Mexico last year while Javier was there waiting out his waiver for Dia de los Muertos. It was the coolest thing ever. They didn't have any parades or anything in his little town but the traditions they did observe were awesome. They made alters and put out all kinds of food. It's for the spirits to come eat. Then after the holiday is over, you can eat the food if you so wish. But, it's the weirdest thing, it has no flavor. Now it could be that way because it's been sitting out for a few days, but they say it's because the spirits came and took the flavor out. I wasn't too crazy about eating food that had been sitting out so I had some of the candy. It was just like eating sugar. There was no flavor at all.

The kids get all dressed up and go "trick or treating". They only dress like scary things though. No fairy pricesses or ninja turtles. It has much more meaning to it then Halloween does. I wish we could be there again this year to experience it again. We won't be able to make it down in November but are going for Christmas so hopefully I'll learn some new things about how they celebrate that holiday.

It is interesting how many cultures have a different outlook on the dead than we do. I know that some people won't even let their kids go out "trick or treating" because they believe it's some kind of pagan ritual.

My aunt was like that. She shielded her kids from trick or treating, any movie that was rated more than G, and alcohol. She once made them leave a cousin's wedding because they had an open bar. The thing is, her daughter ended up pregnant and still hasn't gotten married. I don't understand why some people think never allowing their children to experience life is a good thing.

Anyway, it was very cool to see how they celebrated the holiday. I once read an article somewhere about Mexicans and life insurance. They can't sell it to them because they aren't "consumed" with dying. They don't think it's a big deal so don't think they need life insurance. It is very intesting to see how different cultures deal with different issues.


Just couldn't stay my @ss away!

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I went to Mexico last year while Javier was there waiting out his waiver for Dia de los Muertos. It was the coolest thing ever. They didn't have any parades or anything in his little town but the traditions they did observe were awesome. They made alters and put out all kinds of food. It's for the spirits to come eat. Then after the holiday is over, you can eat the food if you so wish. But, it's the weirdest thing, it has no flavor. Now it could be that way because it's been sitting out for a few days, but they say it's because the spirits came and took the flavor out. I wasn't too crazy about eating food that had been sitting out so I had some of the candy. It was just like eating sugar. There was no flavor at all.

The kids get all dressed up and go "trick or treating". They only dress like scary things though. No fairy pricesses or ninja turtles. It has much more meaning to it then Halloween does. I wish we could be there again this year to experience it again. We won't be able to make it down in November but are going for Christmas so hopefully I'll learn some new things about how they celebrate that holiday.

It is interesting how many cultures have a different outlook on the dead than we do. I know that some people won't even let their kids go out "trick or treating" because they believe it's some kind of pagan ritual.

My aunt was like that. She shielded her kids from trick or treating, any movie that was rated more than G, and alcohol. She once made them leave a cousin's wedding because they had an open bar. The thing is, her daughter ended up pregnant and still hasn't gotten married. I don't understand why some people think never allowing their children to experience life is a good thing.

Anyway, it was very cool to see how they celebrated the holiday. I once read an article somewhere about Mexicans and life insurance. They can't sell it to them because they aren't "consumed" with dying. They don't think it's a big deal so don't think they need life insurance. It is very intesting to see how different cultures deal with different issues.

My parents' neighbors' kids weren't allowed to go trick or treating. Had to do with their religious beliefs. They were one of those Christian denominations. Their church would host a little like harvest party for the kids on Halloween night. I remember being a kid and trick or treating seeing self-righteous signs that people tape to their door about how they worship God and "don't come trick or treating here." I always did, and still do, think that's ridiculous. What child equates trick or treating with devil worship? It's all about the candy, nothing but the candy.


Don't let the sunshine spoil your rain...just stand up and COMPLAIN!

-Oscar the Grouch

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Interesting topic... I'll have to clarify with the wife what Ecuador does during this time. I know at Christmas the little baby Jesus isnt in the manger until stroke of midnight Dec24/25 00:00:01. And New Years is all about the dolls and candles...

Here at the apartment, last year we had a lot of candy to give away (Sara was lookin forward to handing it out.. after going thru for what she wanted of course :P ) but since its apartments with no soliciting signs everywhere.. we only had 2 children show... they made out like bandits! :lol:


James & Sara - Aug 12, 05

Humanity... destined to pass the baton shortly.

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Anyway, it was very cool to see how they celebrated the holiday. I once read an article somewhere about Mexicans and life insurance. They can't sell it to them because they aren't "consumed" with dying. They don't think it's a big deal so don't think they need life insurance. It is very intesting to see how different cultures deal with different issues.

Even the Irish will go to a wake, get drunk, laugh and cry. :D

Found some cool images from Dia De lo Muertos: (I love the artwork!)

sh703-dia-de-los-muertos.jpg

dia.jpg

top.jpg

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It definitely dpends what parts of Mexico you look at. Where my parents are from and where my wife is from, they did not celebrate this day. They certainly know about it, just never did anything to celebrate it like they do in other places. Nowadays, you do see more of the US style trick-o-treating.

Daniel

:energetic:


Ana (Mexico) ------ Daniel (California)(me)

---------------------------------------------

Sept. 11, 2004: Got married (civil), in Mexico :D

July 23, 2005: Church wedding

===============================

K3(I-129F):

Oct. 28, 2004: Mailed I-129F.

~USPS, First-Class, Certified Mail, Rtn Recpt ($5.80)

Nov. 3, 2004: NOA1!!!!

Nov. 5, 2004: Check Cashed!!

zzzz deep hibernationn zzzz

May 12, 2005 NOA2!!!! #######!!! huh???

off to NVC.

May 26, 2005: NVC approves I129F.

CR1(I-130):

Oct. 6, 2004: Mailed I-130.

~USPS, First-Class, Certified Mail, Rtn Recpt ($5.80)

Oct. 8, 2004: I-130 Delivered to CSC in Laguna Niguel.

~Per USPS website's tracking tool.

Oct. 12, 2004 BCIS-CSC Signs for I-130 packet.

Oct. 21, 2004 Check cashed!

Oct. 25, 2004 NOA1 (I-130) Go CSC!!

Jan. 05, 2005 Approved!!!! Off to NVC!!!!

===============================

NVC:

Jan. 05, 2005 ---> in route from CSC

Jan. 12, 2005 Case entered system

Jan. 29, 2005 Received I-864 Bill

Jan. 31, 2005 Sent Payment to St. Louis(I864)

Feb. 01, 2005 Wife received DS3032(Choice of Agent)

Feb. 05, 2005 Payment Received in St. Louis(I864)

Feb. 08, 2005 Sent DS3032 to Portsmouth NH

Feb. 12, 2005 DS3032 Received by NVC

Mar. 04, 2005 Received IV Bill

Mar. 04, 2005 Sent IV Bill Payment

Mar. 08, 2005 Received I864

Mar. 19, 2005 Sent I864

Mar. 21, 2005 I864 Received my NVC

Apr. 18, 2005 Received DS230

Apr. 19, 2005 Sent DS230

Apr. 20, 2005 DS230 received by NVC (signed by S Merfeld)

Apr. 22, 2005 DS230 entered NVC system

Apr. 27, 2005 CASE COMPLETE

May 10, 2005 CASE SENT TO JUAREZ

Off to Cd. Juarez! :D

calls to NVC: 6

===============================

CIUDAD JUAREZ, American Consulate:

Apr. 27, 2005 case completed at NVC.

May 10, 2005 in route to Juarez.

May 25, 2005 Case at consulate.

===============================

-- Legal Disclaimer:What I say is only a reflection of what I did, going to do, or may do; it may also reflect what I have read others did, are going to do, or may do. What you do or may do is what you do or may do. You do so or may do so strictly out of your on voilition; or follow what a lawyer advised you to do, or may do. Having said that: have a nice day!

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It definitely dpends what parts of Mexico you look at. Where my parents are from and where my wife is from, they did not celebrate this day. They certainly know about it, just never did anything to celebrate it like they do in other places. Nowadays, you do see more of the US style trick-o-treating.

Daniel

:energetic:

:lol:

:lol: yep... we export more food type stuff than anythign relevant. :lol::lol:


James & Sara - Aug 12, 05

Humanity... destined to pass the baton shortly.

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My parents' neighbors' kids weren't allowed to go trick or treating. Had to do with their religious beliefs. They were one of those Christian denominations. Their church would host a little like harvest party for the kids on Halloween night. I remember being a kid and trick or treating seeing self-righteous signs that people tape to their door about how they worship God and "don't come trick or treating here." I always did, and still do, think that's ridiculous. What child equates trick or treating with devil worship? It's all about the candy, nothing but the candy.

We had a lady on my block when I was growing up who handed out plastic bags full of Christian religious symbols and bible verses. This came with a popcorn ball, which we were not allowed to eat as it wasn't wrapped. ####### are people thinking?

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My parents' neighbors' kids weren't allowed to go trick or treating. Had to do with their religious beliefs. They were one of those Christian denominations. Their church would host a little like harvest party for the kids on Halloween night. I remember being a kid and trick or treating seeing self-righteous signs that people tape to their door about how they worship God and "don't come trick or treating here." I always did, and still do, think that's ridiculous. What child equates trick or treating with devil worship? It's all about the candy, nothing but the candy.

We had a lady on my block when I was growing up who handed out plastic bags full of Christian religious symbols and bible verses. This came with a popcorn ball, which we were not allowed to eat as it wasn't wrapped. ####### are people thinking?

We'd get these little comic books from Chick Publications - some sort of Christian group, with a small bag of candy corn. Some of them were quite outrageous. Here's one:

chick.gif

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We'd get these little comic books from Chick Publications - some sort of Christian group, with a small bag of candy corn. Some of them were quite outrageous. Here's one:

Chick is a di^k and just tried to provoke ppl.


James & Sara - Aug 12, 05

Humanity... destined to pass the baton shortly.

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We'd get these little comic books from Chick Publications - some sort of Christian group, with a small bag of candy corn. Some of them were quite outrageous. Here's one:

Chick is a di^k and just tried to provoke ppl.

The weird part is that many many Christian Churches basically endorsed these publications without any scrutiny. There are some who'll be passing them out this Halloween, I'm sure.

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We'd get these little comic books from Chick Publications - some sort of Christian group, with a small bag of candy corn. Some of them were quite outrageous. Here's one:

Chick is a di^k and just tried to provoke ppl.

The weird part is that many many Christian Churches basically endorsed these publications without any scrutiny. There are some who'll be passing them out this Halloween, I'm sure.

And if they do pass them out without verifying the validity of the tracts... it's their fault then for not reading and investigating. they deserve the derision then.


James & Sara - Aug 12, 05

Humanity... destined to pass the baton shortly.

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