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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Day of the dead in Mexico (Hanal Pixan)

The day of the dead is one of the biggest traditions in Mexico happening on the 1st and 2nd of November. Typically, the celebration is developed in a tone of respect and joy towards the dead, which is represented as a refined woman known by many different nicknames such as "la calaca, la huesuda, la muerte, la catrina" as it is a skeleton dressed in fine clothes taking and returning lives. Numerous poems, stories, songs and theatre plays are performed allusive to this Festivity which enrich this Mexican tradition.

Alongside, in order to honor their beloved ones, people take flowers to the cemetery and eat with them during those days. Also, as a tradition, people set up altars in their houses dressing them with pictures of their late ones, flowers, drinks and food that in life they used to like so that when they come back, they eat, drink and celebrate as the belief says that during those days their souls return for visiting.

In the Yucatan peninsula the celebration is not much different. Nevertheless; it is nourished by Mayan traditions, music, dances and typical food like the Pibipollo (a mix of dough, chicken and vegetables cooked in an underground hole). The festivity is called Hanal Pixan in Mayan, a fusion between prehispanic rituals and christianity .

For the past days there has been an exhibition of all these traditions in the surrounding areas such as Casa de la Cultura Tulum, parks in Playa del Carmen and Xcaret Eco theme park to which some of the GVI expedition members and staff attended and enjoyed the experience!