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Day of the Dead, the Celebration of Life

Day of the Dead (or as we call it “El Día de los Muertos), a tradition with Hispanic roots, is based in religion and is a celebration of life and tribute to the dead. Contrary to what many may believe, the Day of the Dead is a celebration, which honors those who have passed away by preparing them an altar with their favorite dishes and beverages: fruit, tamales, mole, sweets and the traditional pan de muerto (sweet bread typical for this day).

We usually decorate the altars with typical flowers, candles, incense and images of saints and/or of the dead one. On some occasions we also put a chair by the altar so the spirit of the dead can sit and enjoy the food that was prepared especially for him or her, while their favorite music is played by a live band.

A very special character in this celebration, which has become an icon of Mexican culture, is La Catrina. Originally created as a metaphoric representation of the high-end social class in Mexican society in early 1900, it is now known as the Death. La Catrina is always dressed up with tasteful and colorful clothes with an elegant and stylish pose. It is present in the celebrations of the death to remind those who are alive that life is today, and will forever be, and that the different music, culinary or artistic expressions, are just a tiny way to honor our beloved ones that have passed away.

Below is a cover of ESCAPES magazine, featuring La Catrina. The photograph was taken by Francisco Estrada, Photomexico, on the beach of Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas.