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The Celebration of Death in Cozumel

Cozumel’s Celebration of Death

Day of the Dead – Cozumel style

Well, summer is now over and here at Stingray Villa Cozumel we are preparing to see most of you during “high season”. We are all giddy for your return during cooler times.

Many of you may not realize but Cozumel now celebrates “Day of the Dead” during the week of October 28th-November 3rd.

What can you expect to see during this period?

1. The Lighting of the Candles and “Soul” Parade
2. Dance show by Day of the Dead Monologues
3. “Souls” Race/Run
4. Altar “Hanal Pixan” presentation
5. Youth Artistic Festival
6. Culinary Street Festival

History of The Day of the Dead

Mexican History of The Day of the Dead

Cozumel’s society has a special and intimate relationship with death, an exchange the rest of the world does not understand. Dating back to the pre-Hispanic era, the native societies that inhabited Mexico and Central America pursued a practice that appeared to taunt death. Their rapport with mortality was not at all like the Europeans, a group of individuals that saw death as the conclusion of life. For the natives, it was nothing more than a stage, a transition to something else.

Although the Spanish sought to eliminate this custom, among other practices, this tradition survived and became engrained into North and Central American Catholicism. It has been carried throughout many years, and it is revered today.

November 1st and 2nd are the two times in which Mexico celebrates The Day of the Dead or Dia de Muertos. Although it is observed about the same point as Halloween, Day of the Dead originates from a unique perception. Halloween comes from an ancient Celtic celebration to ward off evil spirits seeking to penetrate the natural realm, whereas Day of the Dead is revelry and honors and embraces the spirits of loved ones that have passed. Those that celebrate Halloween wear masks and costumes to scare away the evil spits. Those that celebrate Day of the Dead offer beautiful floral compositions, sweets and cuisine to the souls in a much more congenial way.

The Day of the Dead or Dia de Muertos

The Colors during the Day of the Dead

The colors alone during Day of the Dead celebrations are lovely but when it all comes together, the festivities, the smells, the sights, and sounds; it is something every pilgrim must experience at least once. A lot of skulls and skeletons are utilized as ornamental purposes, and to those who are not intimate with this celebration, it can appear to be ghoulish. But the skeletal figures portray the mysteries and ramifications of both death and childbirth and are not meant to be at all glum. Often the colors of purple, yellow, white, orange, red and pink are mixed in all the festivities décor and all colors offer an extraordinary representation.

· Purple = pain, suffering and sorrow.

· Yellow = often portrayed in the flower, Marigolds, suggests death and the petals are used to produce directions to guide the souls home.

· White = Like many societies, white means virtue, and hope.

· Red = The blood of life, the object that sustains the individual body and soul.

· Pink = celebration.

Although it is observed in some localities of the United States and Central America, Day of the Dead is something that is primarily celebrated throughout the entire country of Mexico. From the northern-Pacific regions of Baja California to the Yucatan Peninsula, November 1st and 2nd is a marvelous occasion to visit, a time in which an age-old idea comes to life in celebration of death in an extraordinary and joyous way.

Written by Stingray Villa

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