Day of the Dead is a rite which is held to honor those who have passed.
They are honored with altars of colorful arrangements including marigolds, skeletons/skulls, Photo’s, Drawings, artworks, crosses and candles. These altars are created in the main room of the house or can be done at the cemetery (depending on the culture). The families will gather at the shrines/altars and will tell stories of the deceased including funny and serious stories.
In Mexico they celebrate it over 2 days in November... November 1 honours children and infants, whereas deceased adults are honoured on November 2.
Day Of the Dead is represented by an array of Skulls. It is said that in the early days the Skulls of the Deceased were kept as a symbol of dead and rebirth and would be brought out on these days as to invite the spirit's of the skull back to the family to help celebrate the day. Today they use sugar skulls that have the loved ones name etched into the forehead. They are used as offerings to the deceased or as presents to the living.
Costumes of skeleton Brides and Grooms are worn and masks of skulls are also used in the mass gatherings and community celebrations.
Day of the Dead in Mexico represents a mixture of Christian devotion and Pre-Hispanic traditions and beliefs. As a result of this mixture, the celebration comes to life as an unique Mexican tradition including an altar and offerings dedicated to the deceased.
The altar includes four main elements of nature — earth, wind, water, and fire.
Earth is represented by crop: The Mexicans believe the souls are fed by the aroma of food.
Wind is represented by a moving object: Tissue paper is commonly used to represent wind.
Water is placed in a container for the soul to quench its thirst after the long journey to the altar.
Fire is represented by a wax candle: Each lit candle represents a soul, and an extra one is placed for the forgotten soul.
So if you feel drawn why not have your own version of day of the dead, Akiah Elãn will have an array of items that are traditional for this Celebration . Drop in and have a look...