Denis Vejas

Culture Day of the Dead - Lake Patzcuaro 2019
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The Day of the Dead in Mexico originated in the prehispanic era, ethnic groups such as the Mexicas, Mayas, Purépechas, Nahuas and Totonacas celebrated it on the ninth month of the Mexica Solar Calendar and was presided by Goddess Mictecacíhuatl (Lady of Death).
It was believed that the dead needed food to reach their final destination, so when they died, food, water, offerings and diverse objects were placed next to them. This tradition mixed and adapted to the Christian calendar on the first two days of November. November 1st is All Saints Day, dedicated to the children who have died and the 2nd is in memory of adults. It is believed that the dead return to visit their loved ones on these two days.

The spiritual conquest imposed by the Spaniards produced an interesting religious syncretism. One of the richest demonstrations of this mix is the Night of the Dead, where the Indian concept of death plays with the Christian ideas of the “ever after”.
During the whole night, the cemetery’s bell rings to summon the souls to the great ceremony and all across the island Purepecha songs are heard, begging for the rest of missing souls and the happiness of the living. Participating in this event has been a sacred duty for centuries for the residents.
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