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Mexican food and the Day of the Dead

In Mexico, people celebrate the day of the dead in order to honor their ancestors. They believe that all the foods they eat are gifts from their ancestors. As such, this celebration links the past and the present. By celebrating this holiday, Mexicans show how much they give importance to their families that even death cannot hold them back from treating their ancestors as if they are still around and walking the earth. During the day of the dead people make offerings to their ancestors.

They usually place candied pumpkins and sugar skulls on graves of dead children. If the deceased is an adult, the addition of alcoholic beverages is common. Some of these alcoholic drinks include tequila and pulque (fermented juice of an Agave known as maguey). Atole is another drink usually served during the day of the dead. It is a hot drink made of corn meal and chocolate or fruit mixed with water and other spices. Most of these foods can be considered edible in most culture especially pan de muerto since it is simply an egg rich pastry.

In the United States, a similar holiday takes place for a different reason. People in the US celebrate Halloween. It is different from the Mexican holiday because it is not being celebrated to honor ancestors. Rather, history states that it is being celebrated to scare away spirits roaming the Earth during that specific day. Candy is the food most associated with Halloween since they are given to children who go trick or treating. The day of the dead is a mixture of both Native Mexican and Spanish cultures.

The firm belief on superstition such as the return of the dead can be considered as a Native Mexican influence. The Catholic aspects of the celebration such as the use of the cross can be considered as Spanish influences. This celebration is truly a combination of pagan and catholic beliefs. Art is also a major part of the celebration. Some people write poetry while others make skull masks and skeleton dolls. This holiday preserves the colorful history of Mexico.

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