Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mexican celebration that is spreading across the US: Dia de los Muertos

A hybrid of Aztec and Catholic rituals, Dia de los Muertos is based on ancestor worship.

Notes on Dia -
- Celebrated on Nov 1, All Saints Day, Nov 2, All Souls Day in the Catholic Church.
- Partying in the cemeteries. Food, drink and talking with long-time friends.
- Pan de Muertos.
- Tequila: distilled from the Blue Agave cactus.
- Candles and marigolds. Sometimes Monarch butterflies.
- Papel Picado: symmetric and figurative scenes cut in tissue paper.
- Ofrendas (offering); an altar laden with food, drink and mementoes dedicated to a beloved ancestor.
- Calacas: skulls.
- Calaveras: skeletons - often clad in items suggestive of people in all occupations.
- Catrina: female, well-to-do skeleton.
- Pagan: pre-Christian worship.

Anatomy of a skeleton's bones.
- cranium
- mandible
- vertebrae
- clavicle
- sternum
- scapula
- rib cage
- humerus
- radius and ulna
- carpal bones
- metacarpals
- phalanges
- pelvic girdle
- coccyx
- femur
- patella
- fibula and tibia
- tarsal bones
- metatarsals
- phalanges