Barbara

Barbara is the great grand child of Macario Angel, founder of La Floresta Café. She is now running operations and distribution from Orlando, Florida.

Day of the Dead, from Mexico with love......

 
Joy, love, spirituality, respect and happiness to welcome the loved ones that have left us. This is not a kids movie, this is a real tradition of Mexico!
Ever since I was a little girl, "El Día de los Muertos" has been a tradition that has captivated my heart and that kept me so intrigued and curious that sometimes kept me awake that the dead people will revive!  No, I'm not talking about Zombies!!  but in Mexico we celebrate Dead, as crazy as it may sound we do laugh about dead and make fun of it, we have different names for it such as Calaca, Tilica, Huesuda, Flaca, etc (all these terms refer to bones and or to a very thin person)
My kids have grown with this tradition, we put an "Ofrenda" every year (even when we lived in Germany) and we pray for all who are not longer in this world (at least not physically).
My daughter Sofia-Marie is specially interested in this tradition and she always reads about it and helps me putting up our altar!, she's also a native writer so this year I asked her to write an article about "Day of the Dead"  to which she immediately said yes! and was so thrilled that couldn't  wait for me to publish it!
I hope you find it interesting and everything you'll ready came from her heart and research!.
Day of the dead



Every year, on November 2nd, a traditional holiday is celebrated all around Mexico, The Day of the Dead! But this special day has a deeper meaning to it in which coffee also plays a roll. It's believed that the border between the spirit world and the real-world dissolve. 
 
The day of the dead was inherited from the ancient aztecs old festival, the Dead Day! It was mostly to honor the dead and was celebrated for one month, there, they would have a feast, music, and dancing! It was not on the same date, but everything else is probably the same.

dead of the dead
(Mictecacihuatl is the goddess of the underworld in Aztec culture. She is the protector of the bones and also believed to be the inspiration of Día de los Muertos )
 
The Day of the Dead is split into 2 days, November 1, and November 2. The first day is thought to be “El Día de los angelitos” which translates to little angels, or angel-like kids. It is split because it was thought to be a day where only kids and children were able to cross the barrier from the afterlife to the real world!!!!
The skulls are part of the human body, right? Well, not in this case! The skulls were originated by the Aztecs who thought of these skulls as “the short passage in between the afterlife and life”, meaning that the skulls are a symbol of being in between the life and the afterlife!
 


What happens when you die? Do you turn into a ghost, a spirit, another human, an animal? What if I told you that Mexican folktales tell a myth that when you die, you turn into a monarch butterfly! As crazy as this sounds, it might even be true, because on the day of the dead, you see hundreds of butterflies in the forests! No one has survived death and come back to life, everyone has their own beliefs, and this is one of them!
 

ancient mexico
Diego Rivera’s Totonac Civilization, El Tajin. Photo: www.delange.org

 

The altars and their secrets

How the people in Mexico celebrate “Día de los Muertos”?
 
For one night, the souls of the dead awaken and return to the living world to feast, drink, dance and play music with their loved ones

In many homes the “Ofrenda” plays a main roll, which means offering, is a home altar that contains three or seven tiers which have meanings and reasons. The first level identifies and describes the person who passed and is being honored on this special day.


 ofrenda dia de muertos

Day of the Dead "Ofrenda" by the Mexican Ladies in Central Florida at the Mexican Consulate 2020


You usually put their picture and a statue or image of mother Mary, Jesus, crucifixes and other things to represent their great arrival to heaven (or hell)! This means that the family is hoping that their ancestor had a good, safe, and spiritual journey to the next life!!! The second level is placed to make the dead feel at home and comfortable. This is done by placing their valuable and loved possessions like a pair of earrings, or their favorite book on the altar! This also includes food, coffee, pan de dulce, pan de muertos, or even traditional food like mole or beans!

People also put gifts that they had never given to the loved one. The family hopes that by seeing these prized possessions, the deceased one will notice that they care and still remember the moments, memories, and objects that they have been through together! 
 
The third level is where the coffee gets introduced! This level, or the yummy level, is known to have all the food. This includes sugar skulls, seeds, and most importantly coffee and alcohol. The coffee and tequila or mezcal is brought out to toast the arrival of the deceased one. Mezcal and coffee play a huge role in traditions on the day of the dead!
 
Now, “papel picado”. This translates to chopped paper or whole paper confetti! This tissue paper is cut into shapes that look like families, instruments, ofrendas, and skeletons! They come in different colors and represent the four elements, that is to say: Fire, earth, water, and wind.

papel picado
 
Finally, the decoration of the altar finishes with Marigold flowers “flowers of the dead,” cempasuchil, or flor de muerto, these bright orange and yellow flowers' fragrance is said to attract souls to the altar. It brings the “Ofrenda” to life.
 
 
Now, as I said before, alcohol and coffee are used to toast the arrival of the deceased. 

Now, go celebrate YOUR loved ones! with your favorite Tequila, Rum and Coffee (maybe a dark roast to make it through the night?) check our "Euforia-Espresso Roast" or our "Alebrije USDA Organic-Chiapas
 
 
By Sofia Marie

(My 10 year old daughter!)

 

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1 comment

  • That is great Sofia Marie! Es mui bueno! I was reading along and wondering when the part that a 10 year old had written was going to start. I had no idea that this was written by her. She’s really good! Maybe some day she is going to be a famous writer. I’m not kidding! Keep it up. You never know where you’ll end up. Thanks for sharing. Al

    Al Willard

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