Some studies say Day of the Dead has been a tradition in Mexico for thousands of years with many of the pre-colonial civilizations practicing certain rituals to honor their deceased. What is very clear is that the tradition has both pre-colonial and Spanish elements related to All Saints Day.
In the end the celebration is a way to REVIVE those that have passed away celebrating their LIVES and keeping memories ALIVE.
The tradition has become an important part of Gringo G's life; but as always Gringo G strongly relates with the wonderful food served during Day of the Dead which as Jimmy Hendrix might say is part of ...
The Experience: Gringo G highly recommends visiting several different places to fully experience Day of the Dead if you are in Mexico: small Mexican towns, Xochimilco and the Ciudad Universitaria Campus of the UNAM both in Mexico City, Pátzcuaro in the state of Michoacán and some parts of Veracruz.
Gringo G himself had the priviledge of visiting the mega-ofrendas or mega-altars at the Ciudad Universitaria Campus of the UNAM. The political slogans and sometimes provocative social commentaries were very interesting and can be seen in the photos below.
Mega-Ofrenda at CU UNAM
Marigolds "Cempasuchiles" are the traditional flower in OfrendasThe Food: Gringo G's favorite Day of the Dead pastime is eating the leftover food from the altar (some believe this should not be done ... I believe the food should not be wasted). The always wonderful hot "Pan de Muerto" or dead bread, with its skeleton symbology and wonderful citric taste (usually developed through the use of orange rinds to flavor the bread) is a Gringo G favorite. It is also nice to devour hot mole and the traditional skeleton flavored sweets normally offered to the Dead. Also a wonderful specialty is the "Calabaza en Tacha", a seasonal treat made from pumpkin, concentrated brown sugar, guava and cinnamon.
Typical Sugar-Encrusted Pan de Muerto
Traditional Sugar and Chocolate Skulls
EXTRA EXTRA LUXURY: Pan de Muerto filled with Skim Cream from Sucre I Cacao Bakery