Welcome the dead with an Altar of the Dead
Written by Leche con Tuna
A very Mexican tradition is the celebration of the Day of the Dead. This festivity is the product of a mix of cultures; the pre-Hispanic and Catholicism, brought by the Spanish and embraced by the natives during colonial times.
A fundamental element in the Day of the Dead is the Altar de Muertos (Altar of the Dead), which has slight variations throughout Mexico. In Oaxaca, families install altars in their houses. They are decorated with marigold flowers. The table is set to honor the souls that return and receive the offerings in the form of essences, food, drinks, and elements that bring them back. It is not only done at home but also in businesses and offices.
Death is a metaphor for life itself. An infinite process and constant rebirth. Those of you who offer today will be invited to the party tomorrow. The deceased returns home and enjoys, perceives, smells, and tastes the altar. Our dead family members and friends are not absent; they are living spirits.
Last year, 2019, the city of Oaxaca de Juárez installed a Monumental Altar of the Dead, with which it sought to give greatness to the traditions of the Oaxacans. Unfortunately, this year due to the accelerated growth of COVID-19 cases, the altar's installation was canceled along with all public events of the Day of the Dead.