Photos: Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead – Dia de Muertos | In Pictures News

During the Day of the Dead celebrations that take place in late October and early November in Mexico, survivors remember and honor their departed loved ones, but with celebration – not grief. sad.

It is believed that on the Day of the Dead – or Dia de Muertos – they can meet their deceased loved ones.

Andres Medina, a researcher at the Anthropological Research Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said no one knows when the first ritual took place, but it stems from beliefs related to agriculture since ancient times. pre-Hispanic period of Mexico.

“In that myth, corn was buried when it was planted and lived underground for a while only to then reappear as a plant,” says Medina. Corn kernels are considered as seeds, compared to bones, considered as the source of life.

Today, skeletons are central to Day of the Dead celebrations, symbolizing the return of skeletons to the living world. Like seeds planted in the ground, the dead temporarily disappear only to return each year like the annual harvest.

The altar is also the core of compliance. Families place photos of their ancestors on their home altars, which contain decorations cut out of paper and candles.

The way Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead continues to evolve.

“There is an American Halloween influence today,” says Medina. “These elements take on a new meaning in the context of the festival’s original meaning of celebrating the dead. To celebrate life. “

In 2016, the government began a famous annual parade in Mexico City, ending in a main square featuring altars built by artisans from around the country.

Paola Valencia, originally from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, says the resident of her hometown, Santa Cruz Xoxocotlan, takes a long time to build large altars each year. They are a source of pride for the whole community.

“Sometimes I feel like crying. Our altar shows who we are. We are very traditional and we love to feel that they (the dead) will be with us at least once a year,” she said.

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