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Bright and colorful skulls in my hallway

 

Small Mariachi skeletons, bright and colorful skulls, tequila, home-made salsa, tortillas, mole, la Virgen de Guadalupe and a picture of my grandfather decorated my hallway in the first week of November. 
The way Mexicans celebrate the “Día de los Muertos” is unique and a fascinating mixture of joy of life, humor, the death and respect for the dear departed. This tradition is the result of almost five hundred years of cultural interaction. Aztec and Maya rituals mingled with Catholicism. The essence being that the souls of the dear departed visit their beloved ones and spend one day of joy and laughter with them on November 1st and 2nd.
My Mexican grandfather passed away in December 2009 so this year was the perfect time to start with my personal tradition of the “Día de los Muertos”. What I can say is that it is a really nice way of remembering the dead. I cared a lot about my grandfather so at the beginning I was afraid of becoming really sad but it was the complete contrary. My husband, my brother, his girlfriend and I had a great time at my place.
We cleared the dresser in the hallway, covered it with a colorful Mexican table-cloth and started to arrange all the objects I had discovered on my last trip in Mexico. Think of small mariachi skeletons, bright and colorful skulls, a small skeleton doggy and my favorite “Anton”. Anton is a skeleton I once bought in the US for Halloween. The name of Anton doesn’t have any special meaning and I hope that all the “Antons” that will read this blog may forgive me. Well this year we transformed “Anton” into “Maria”, making up a dress with fabrics and garments we had, dressing her up with earrings and even a fake braid of dark hair. You can imagine that we did laugh a lot arranging all that colorful and scary objects. 
 Afterwards we lit two candles, one for my grandfather and one for all the forgotten souls and prayed for them. Then we had dinner and ate traditional dishes like Mole and Tamales together with my grandfather.
It was a great experience that I will keep up as an annual tradition.

 

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