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.
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!
The altars and their secrets
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.
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.
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!)