Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dia de Los Muertos

Today and tomorrow, Mexicans in Mexico and throughout the world celebrate a holiday known as Day of the Dead. No, it's not some horror flick, it's long tradition and I thought we'd bring a little of that to The Spro.

Senora Lopez at Fiesta Mexicana made these little tables of food for Dia de Los Muertos, so I picked one up the other night and today it's on the front counter with a candle and a cappuccino.

Friends and longtime readers of this blog know that I'm not Mexican. I'm Filipino. And while there may be a tradition in the Philippines called Araw ng mga Patay (same meaning), it's something that my family never celebrated outside of, maybe, going to church for the Roman Catholic observance of All Saints Day.

According to what I understand about Dia de Los Muertos, the day celebrates those of our friends and family who have died. The candle is the light guiding the deceased back to this world. A table is set with a photo of the remembered and their favorite foods. On our table, we have a photo of beloved Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. In the center of the table is the traditional pan de muerto, a sweet bread with the shapes of bones on top. Surrounding the pan de muerto are: rum, tequila, Electropura agua, Coca-Cola, frutas, arroz con huevo, mole, frijoles, leche de Alpura and Zucaritas cereal. And since we're at The Spro, I've added a cappuccino.

In traditional celebrations, it can days of planning and labor to prepare the food and everything for Dia de Los Muertos, but what happens to the food? I wondered that too. Throughout the day, no one touches the food. It's for the dead and no one else. It's for them to eat. Of course, as per usual with ethereal beings, they are unable to consume the food (as we understand consumption) and the food is disposed of at the end of the holiday.

Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated on both November 1st and 2nd, and even if you aren't Mexican, it seems to me to be a good way to remember our deceased loved ones.

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