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#420609 - 11/01/11 09:14 AM Mexicans Call It Dia De Los Muertos
Marty Offline
Tonight there will be a lot of trick or treaters out and about - but Belize's northern communities are not as much into Halloween as they are into their tradition called - Day of the Dead which is celebrated on the first and second of November.

It's a 500 year old tradition, where it is believed that the souls of ancestors return to join the living, in festivities that includes food and dancing. Candy skulls are placed on the tombs of loved ones along with funny poems about the dead.

This year the Mexican Embassy in Belmopan is hosting an exhibition on the - Day of the Dead- to display the traditional celebration. 7news stopped by to check out preparations.

Hector Peralta, D/ Chief of Mission, Mexican Institute
"We are trying here in the Embassy to recreate a very old tradition - five hundred year old tradition that is celebrated in Mexico, celebrating the dead and the decease trying to facilitate the transit from one place to a better place for the decease. Relatives, friends, close people that unfortunately passed away before us. That is why we here at the Embassy we are trying to recreate like a cemetery. We are trying to recreate like what we called the Alter of the dead. With this offering that we have for the close ones in which we represent and we offer the best that we can have. "

"Let's say we can offer their favorite meals, their favorite foods, their favorite drinks, we are as well presenting with some lights, unfortunately not in the day light, but if it would be in the night with the candles we show the road and how to reach a better place. The Alter or the offering has a different level like the heaven, the air, the dirt and ground. In the cemetery we use to have a good approach with the dead with funny obituaries."

"It is something that in Mexico we respect the dead, but we feel that the dead is a close companion - it's a close friend that sooner or later we will have to meet again. That why we want to present this heritage. This is part of the heritage of Mexican that has been recognized already by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) like and intangible heritage of the humanity. And it is celebrated in Mexico in different places; central, northern southern, everywhere in Mexico and it always takes places on the 1st and 2nd of November."

"This has been a big effort for the Embassy, trying to recreate the great diagram of the cemetery. It is very difficult, we have been trying to use all of our resources, and we are unfortunately by sanitary restrictions or regulations that all countries have. Let's say we couldn't bring the natural flowers that we normally use in the grave yards with is the Cempasúchi - which is a yellow berry blossom which is very nice, but we are trying. We have handmade some of them here, trying to recreate. But it will be open to the public, everybody can come look at it."

"On the second of November at 7 we are going to have a life celebration in which we join as well as we do in Mexico with music, with celebration festivities. That's why the concept is unique, we don't disrespect the dead we respect the dead, as I said we consider the dead a friend."

You can check out the traditional Day of the Dead display at the Mexican Embassy in Belmopan. The exhibit will run up until November second.

Channel 7

#420617 - 11/01/11 09:47 AM Re: Mexicans Call It Dia De Los Muertos [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
Belize Archaeologist Herman Smith once explained to me how Spanish conquers of the Mayan forced the catholic religion on the indigenous population and the Mayan resistance to the change merged the Mayan gods into the Catholic religion causing a new religion to develop where Mayan Gods evolved into saints and saints had Mayan religious traits.
He pointed out that in the excavation of the Catholic Church at Indian Church near Lamani small Mayan effigys where found hidden in the stonework.
He as well as archeologist Pendergrass speculated the images where hidden in the church so Mayans could secretly pray to them in their forced attendance at Mass.
This holiday "The day of the Dead' is a good example of the two merged religious beliefs.
The God of Bones is now Santa Muerte or "Saint Death" .
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#420696 - 11/01/11 08:46 PM Re: Mexicans Call It Dia De Los Muertos [Re: Marty]
ScubaLdy Offline
Thanks Elbert- that could explain a lot of things that happen here. LOL
In the same vein here's a couple of tidbits.
One of my friends here on the island was telling me and interesting story the other day.
In school he had to learn Latin and Greek Then they had one year to translate the Christian Bible from Greek into Latin. The next year they translated their new Latin version into English. The following year they translated their now new English version into Greek. Then they compared what they started with to what they ended with.

He asked me if I remembered the old kids game “Telephone” where a person whispers a sentence to the person next to them who then whispers it to the next person. Of course I remember – and anyone who ever played that was always amazed at what came out at the end.

This is one of the reasons when someone tells me “It’s in the bible” I ask them which one? When someone goes to the trouble to tell me they are a Christian I have to wonder what kind of Christian? Same thing when someone says “S/he is Muslin” I ask them which Muslin? Most people don’t know there are differences.

I love Kris Kristofferson’s son “Jesus Was a Capricorn.” This says a lot for me.

Jesus was a Capricorn, he ate organic foods.
He believed in love and peace and never wore no shoes.
Long hair, beard and sandals and a funky bunch of friends.
Reckon they'd just nail him up if He come down again.

'Cos everybody's got to have somebody to look down on.
Who they can feel better than at anytime they please.
Someone doin' somethin' dirty, decent folks can frown on.
If you can't find nobody else, then help yourself to me.

Get back, John!

Egg Head's cousin Red Neck's cussin' hippies for their hair.
Others laugh at straights who laugh at freaks who laugh at squares.
Some folks hate the whites who hate the blacks who hate the clan.
Most of us hate anything that we don't understand.

'Cos everybody's got to have somebody to look down on.
Who they can feel better than at anytime they please.
Someone doin' somethin' dirty, decent folks can frown on.
If you can't find nobody else, then help yourself to me.

Help yourself, brother.
Help yourself, Gentlemen.
Help yourself Reverend.
Take only pictures leave only bubbles


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