There is so much energy in the air I can feel the spirits descending.
November 1st is generally referred to as Día De Los Inocentes (Day of the Innocents) or Día De Los Angelitos (Day of the Little Angels).
November 2nd is the actual DÍa De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
The past week in America has been particularly sorrowful. Perhaps, honoring the departed on November 1st and 2nd is helpful to you.
During our childhood, we had altars year round. They always contained the Virgen de Guadalupe, Sacred Heart of Jesus, votives, and one or two photos of someone who recently passed.
To celebrate the Day of the Dead people make altars or ofrendas (offerings) to their deceased. This can be at a cemetery (like in Mexico), in your living room, kitchen, bedroom, wherever you like.
This year my mom made a Day of the Dead altar in the living room. One side of the altar contained the photos of her deceased sisters and brothers, sister-in-law’s, and cousins. The other side, as you can see, has photos of her parents and my dad, and Cesar Chavez, who my mother admired so much.
My sister’s ofrenda dedicated to the memory of her husband, friends, and our relatives:
An altar in the library of the high school where my sister works:
Ofrendas and altars are our way of visiting with, remembering and honoring our ancestors and loved ones who’ve departed.
If you are thinking of making your own altar (you still have time) check out these past posts.
The Icons of Day of the Dead.
What’s Up With Mexican Culture and Death?
The Icons of Day of the Dead.
I leave you with these poems from sddayofthedead.org/poems
“In the indigenous, aboriginal perspective on death, both life and death are mere aspects of a common duality or eternal cycle, as denoted in the following Native American poem from North America:
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on the snow.
I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.
I am the gentle Autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there, I did not die.
What is Death?
What is death? It is the glass of life broken into a
thousand pieces, where the soul disperses like
perfume from a flask, into the silence of the eternal night.
Through the Eyes of the Soul, Day of the Dead in Mexico
Be as happy as you can, oh king Tecayehyatzin
You who appreciates the jewels that flourish!
Will we live again?
Your heart knows this:
We only live once!
¡Alégrate en extremo, oh rey Tecayehuatzin,
valuador de joyas florecientes!
¿Acaso una vez más vendremos a vivir?
Tu corazón lo sabe así:
¡Sólo una vez venimos a la vida!
Xayacamachan 1510 A.D.
If you have any questions/comments, please let me know. Thanks!
4 thoughts on “Día De Los Muertos is Coming, Are You Ready?”
I didn’t realize that November 1st had significance, too. Thanks for the poems (I particularly enjoyed the first one)!
Nov. 1 is for children who’ve died, the little angels.
In France we also celebrate with La Toussaint, the day of All Saints. That day we bring potted mums to the graves of our loved ones. I blogged once about it and remember your own post that day too. The selection of poems is a nice addition to your post, Mona.
I got to experience my first Dia de Los Muertos last October….it was so much fun. The movie Coco has new meaning for me now!