An Interview with Miss Adela Pederson about the upcoming Hanal Pixan
Hanal Pixan is the celebration of the Day of the Dead that originated from Mayan culture. ... Hanal Pixan means “food of the souls” and is celebrated to remember friends and relatives that have passed onto the afterlife. From October 31 to November 2 is when the deceased are permitted to visit their loved ones. On Saturday, October 26th, 2019 the National Institute of Culture and history through the Corozal House of Culture and To'one Masehualoon brings to you the "Tradition of " Food for the Souls". This event will take place at the Corozal Central Park at 7pm.
We are delighted to present the ancient ritual sport of POK ta POk by Le' Ts'unu'um Yo Creek team, a female team, at our Hanal Pixan event! We invite you to enjoy a night of cultural presentations, authentic Maya cuisine, altars by our cultural stakeholders and much much more!" Courtesy: Corozal House of Culture
Mr. Felipe Tzul is a Maya Masewal elder from the village of Patchakan in the Corozal district who explained the tradition of U Janal Pixano'ob in Maya T'aan(Yucatec Maya) and Spanish. Hanal Pixan means "food for the soul" is still celebrated by people of Yucatec Maya descent from Corozal,Orange Walk and Cayo. Today the Yucatec Mayas in Belize may also identify themselves as "Maya , Masewal ,Maya Masewal, Maya Mestizo or Mayero ".
This video was recorded November 2,2016 by Mr. Jeremias Tzul from Patchakan. The video was edited by Ak Kuchkabal Maya(Our Maya Family) a Yucatec Maya group Orange Walk to gather information about the Yucatec Maya in northern Belize. This video is for educational purposes .
Centuries ago in the Mayan community cemeteries did not exist. The Maya buried their dead in their own backyards close to their heart and home. A hole was dug which kept in it the body of the deceased. Inside every deceased Mayan's mouth, a certain amount of well cooked corn named "keyem" was placed. This was left there so that the soul could feed while in eternal resting. In the "keyem" lies the initiation of the Maya tradition of feeding the souls.
As the sun rises every 31st of October so does the beginning of the celebration of Hanal Pixan. This event which translated from Mayan to English means "food for the souls" lasts until the 2nd of November of every year. Loved ones who are deceased, are not thought to be gone definitely. Tradition says their souls are still present, and the deceased faithfully arrive each year to visit and be honoured by their family and friends.
The tradition includes various rites, the main one being the creation of an altar in which a special feast is placed. The food that is typically served is the favorite of the deceased. Seasonal fruits and food are also placed on the altar, these include but are not limited to "atole de mailz", "mucbilpollos", tangerines, oranges, papaya sweets, coconuts, licamas", as well as "tamales" "relleno negro" and "escabeche". The altar is deco-rated with candles, marigold flowers, branches of ruda, licaras" and pictures of the deceased. On the eve of the celebration in the center above the altar a green wooden cross is placed, representing the Ceiba tree, which in Mayan tradition symbolizes the universe and its division into three levels.
U Hanal Palal is the name of the first day which is dedicated solely to children. It is accustomed that chil-dren wear a black or red cloth bracelet in the right hand, so that deceased visitors do not take them. House-hold pets are tied or confined during the celebrations so as to not scare away the visitors, or to obstruct their way to the altar. The children's altar is usually more festive and colorful, adorned with distinct embroidered tablecloths. They also receive chocolates and an assortment of seasonal sweets, along with honey and toys.
The 1st of November is the second day, called U Hanal Nucuchuinicoob, dedicated solely to dead adults. Be-sides the food and beverages, "aguardiente" and cigarettes are altered. The last and third day is the U Hanal Pixanoob, also referred to as "misa pixan". This is a mass normally celebrated in the town's cemetery honor-ing departed family and friends. It is accustomed that at the ending of the 3 day celebration, which is popu-larly known in the mestizo community as el "clia de los muertos," friends and family join to share meals, sweets, and beverages in remembrance of the deceased.
One week later, the "Bix" or "Octavario de dia de Finados" is celebrated. This reunion is a smaller version of the prior Hanal Pixan. Rows of candles are placed on the veranda and in the main entrance of the house, so that the souls can see their way out of the realm of the living to return to their eternal resting place.
In Mayan tradition people die three deaths. The first death is when our bodies cease to function. The second death comes when the body is lowered into the ground, returning to mother earth. The third death, the most definitive death, is when there is no one left alive to remember us.