ACCORDING TO THIS SITE: "The Day of the Dead is a unique festival that is the result of 16th century contact between Mesoamerica and Europe. Conceptually, it is a hybrid, owing its origins to both prehispanic Aztec philosophy and religion and medieval European ritual practice. Ceremonies held during the Aztec summer month of Miccailhuitontli were mainly focused on the celebration of the dead. These were held under the supernatural direction of the goddess Mictecacihuatl. Both children and dead ancestors were remembered and celebrated. It was also during this month that the Aztecs commemorated fallen warriors. According to Diego Duran, a 16th century Spanish priest, the Aztecs would bring offerings of food to altars in honor of the dead. They would also place small clay images that were supposed to represent the deceased on these same altars."
Yesterday [October 31st], Corpus Christi celebrated the 1st of three days of Day of the Dead
The Street Fair:
...and with all the fun festivities and celebrating, there always has to be one who spoils the fun. Loud, Obnoxious, Drunken Disorderly!! [check out the socks!!]
Why Sugar Skulls? [Represented today in face art, paintings, clay sculptures & traditional form of the original sugar confection design] From this site: "Sugar art was brought to the New World by Italian missionaries in the 17th century. The first Church mention of sugar art was from Palermo at Easter time when little sugar lambs and angels were made to adorn the side altars in the Catholic Church.
Mexico, abundant in sugar production and too poor to buy fancy imported European church decorations, learned quickly from the friars how to make sugar art for their religious festivals. Clay molded sugar figures of angels, sheep and sugar skulls go back to the Colonial Period 18th century. Sugar skulls represented a departed soul, had the name written on the forehead and was placed on the home ofrenda or gravestone to honor the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style of big happy smiles, colorful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments. Sugar skulls are labor intensive and made in very small batches in the homes of sugar skull makers. These wonderful artisans are disappearing as fabricated and imported candy skulls take their place.
There is nothing as beautiful as a big, fancy, unusual sugar skull!
Although it is a holiday from far away in southern Mexico, it's a holiday one can personalize and integrate into their own religious and cultural beliefs. It is more of a cultural holiday than a religious one. It is a wonderful way to celebrate the memories of our loved ones who are now gone... through art, cooking, music, building ofrendas, doing activities with our children, we can recount family stories, fun times and lessons learned... not how the person died, but how they lived."
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Bud and I attended this street fair and celebration, we find it fascinating and quite enjoyable!! Love the concept of celebrating life of loved ones' memories in such a way...happy to have known them instead of mourning and feeling sorry for those left behind.