DIA DE LOS MUERTOS * DAY OF THE DEAD

November 2nd is Mexico’s Memorial Day that celebrates the life of the departed. Arrangements such as this with skulls, candles, and marigolds are usually placed on the sideboard. The dinner table is laid out with the favorite foods of the honored guests. Dia de los Muertos is not a solemn affair. It is a joyous repast for family and  friends who gather around the table to honor and remember the absent by sharing humorous stories and anecdotes of the past and thus give life to those no longer here. There is much laughter and an occasional tear. At the end of dinner Pan de Muerto is served, a delicious sweet bread laced with cinnamon and nutmeg and ginger. November 1st is called Dia de los Angelitos, Day of the Angels, and that is to remember and honor children. In the cemeteries the displays can be more elaborate. There is much singing and dancing and mariachis play their gay melancholy music at the graveside.

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