Today is November 2nd a day of remembrance. Whether you are observing the Day of the Dead or All Souls’ Day, you are remembering the departed. Family and friends travel to cemeteries to where their loved ones rest. Graves are adorned with burning candles and flowers. In some cultures, even offerings are left for the deceased.
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
In Mexico, parts of South and Central America and even the United States, many celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Family and friends will set up an altar with favorite foods, offerings, and brightly colored decorations to welcome back the soul of their loved one.
A common symbol of the day of the dead is a skeleton or skull. These are not decorated morbidly, but with lots of color. A popular flower for this day is the marigold. People will decorate their graves with marigolds by making elaborate designs or sprinkle the petals on and around the area. The marigold is considered the “flower of the dead”. Supposedly, the scent of the flower will bring the dead back to the earth for this celebration.
Dusicky (All Souls’ Day)
In the Czech and Slovak Republic, family and friends will travel to the cemeteries where their family is buried. They will lay flowers on and around the graves, as well as, burning candles. This custom is to celebrate and remember the ones who have passed on.
Religious Observance-Feast of All Souls
All Souls’ Day in the Catholic Church is a day of prayer for the faithfully departed who are in Purgatory. Graves are decorated with flowers and candles as they remember, pray, and pay respect to the dead.
There are several foods associated with these observances. I found a recipe for Pan de Muertos (Day of the Dead Bread). If you visit this website, the recipe received great reviews. Here is another website full of different recipes from “All Souls Cake” to “Sugar Skulls” to “Eggs in Purgatory.”
“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”
Photo of candle by: gnuckx
Additional photos-Day of the Dead by Melissa Eckhoff