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How was Rogier van der Weyden’s Last Judgment displayed? Painted on inside to display when open, painted on outside to display when closed. Artists commonly understood symbols in their paintings.
Creating Your Shrine
In the homes, family members honor their deceased with ofrendas or offerings which may consist of photographs, bread, other foods, flowers, toys and other symbolic offerings. Altars may contain all hand-made items or ones that have been purchased.
The altar includes the four main elements of nature – Earth, Wind, Water and Fire.
The ofrenda is a central component Every ofrenda also includes the four elements: water, wind, earth and fire. Water is left in a pitcher so the spirits can quench their thirst.
TORONTO — El Día de los Muertos — or Day of the Dead — is not Mexican Halloween. The holiday, with origins from pre-Columbian Mesoamerica rituals in southern Mexico, brings observers together to celebrate and honour the lives of dead family members and friends.
Skulls (calavera) Probably one of the most recognizable symbols of Día de los Muertos, these skulls are often made of granulated sugar, meringue powder and water. The mixture is molded into the shape of a skull, and then decorated with brightly colored ornamentation.
Sugar skulls represented a departed soul, had the name written on the forehead and was placed on the home ofrenda or gravestone to honor the return of a particular spirit.
No celebration is complete without food. Some of the typical food that is added to ofrendas are tamales, empanadas, fruta, hot chocolate, mole y pan de muerto: a sweet mouth watering butter based bread mixed with orange blossom representing the dead.
Often candles, flowers and the favorite foods of the deceased are placed on the grave and the family visits, eats, sings and tells favorite stories about those who have passed.
In the 1970s, the Day of the Dead began to be transformed into the holiday we see today by artists and activists who used the holiday as a tool for identity-building, seeking to recognize and celebrate their indigenous roots as a part of their Mexican American heritage to create a new Chicano identity.
Why Marigolds for Dia de los Muertos? It is believed that the spirits of the dead visit the living during the celebration. Marigolds guide the spirits to their altars using their vibrant colors and pungent scent. Marigolds, or flowers in general, also represent the fragility of life.
Where many other cultures view death as a natural progression in the cycle of life among generations, the American culture prefers not to talk about death. When death does approach or arrive, as it inevitably must, Americans often use euphemisms: “passed on,” “passed away” or even just “passed” are all in current use.
The holiday is more commonly called “Día de los Muertos” outside Mexico….
|Day of the Dead|
|Significance||Prayer and remembrance of friends and family members who have died|
|Celebrations||Creation of altars to remember the dead, traditional dishes for the Day of the Dead|
No, Día de los Muertos isn’t ‘Mexican Halloween’ While Halloween and Day of the Dead do share common roots, they are totally different holidays. One major distinction is that Halloween is only one night, whereas the Day of the Dead is actually a three-day event that is just getting starting on Oct. 31.
Consider the region’s history: Dia de los Muertos has its origins in Aztec traditions honoring the dead. Though both Christian, these traditions have different religious calendars, and honor saints and holy days in different ways.