MEXICO CITY, Mexico (Newspath) – Mexico has started celebrating the Day of the Dead with spectacular altars and monumental offerings mounted on Saturday in several squares downtown in Mexico City.
This year, sixteen altars in the historic center of the capital adorn the area, each dotted with colorful flowers and candles.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought on unforeseen circumstances for families to battle.
Local resident Liliana Mara explained the added meaning to this year’s celebration.
“After all that we have lived through and the people who have passed away, we now see a boom after being locked up (due to COVID-19). These exhibits of Mexican culture bring joy to the city,” Mara said.
Fused with Catholic festivals of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, the Day of the Dead is one of the most deep-rooted traditions in Mexico, celebrated by millions of people from Mayan Indians in the tropical south to urban professionals in Mexico City.
A tourist from Romania, Alina Boaca, visited the city just in time for the holiday.
“I think it is very colorful because you are commemorating the dead, but at the same time, you are celebrating life,” Boaca said.
The Day of the Dead festival has its origins in a pre-Hispanic Aztec belief that the dead return to Earth one day each year to visit their loved ones.
Mexicans set out food and drinks for their departed loved ones and build colorful altars that celebrate their lives.
Now observed by Catholic communities around the world, thousands of people from Manila to Mexico celebrate the festival reuniting the living with the dead on November 1 and 2.
The November 2 “Día de Muertos” or All Souls’ Day interweaves Spanish influences with indigenous ancestor worship in South America, especially in places with strong indigenous populations such as in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.