Mexican Day Of The Dead Workshop with Jan O’Highway on Saturday 2nd November at Riverstone, Buckfastleigh
Join us at our Mexican Day Of The Dead Workshop with Jan O’Highway on Saturday 2nd November 2019 at Riverstone, Buckfastleigh between 2pm and 5pm for children’s activities and 5pm – 6pm decorating the altar and 6pm – 8pm for music and memories.
It is free to attend and you just need to turn up, no need to book. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to email or call us.
The event with children and adults starts at 2pm – 5pm with creating cut outs, sugar skulls, Day of the Dead bread, skeletons, to decorate the altar. At 5pm the altar will be prepared and at 6pm the mood changes when the fire is lit and everyone is invited to draw up a chair, place a photograph of a loved one who has died on the altar, light a candle and tell a story about them.
Día de los Muertos is on November 2nd.
It is a joyous occasion when the memory of ancestors and the continuity of life is celebrated. It is believed that at this time the souls of the departed return to visit the living. It is not a time of mourning since “the path back to the living world must not be made slippery by tears”. Its roots are in ancient Mexico before the Spanish conquest. The exact date is unknown but it has been speculated that the idea originated with the Olmecs, possibly as long as 3000 years ago.
The Aztec celebration was held during the Aztec month of Miccailhuitontli. Following the Spanish conquest of Mexico during the 16th century, there was a strong effort to convert the native population to Catholicism. All Saints’ Day and All Hallows Eve (Halloween) roughly coincided with the preexisting Día de Los Muertos resulting in the present day event which draws from both. Although the skeleton is a strong symbol for both Halloween and los Días de Los Muertos, the meaning is very different. For Días de Los Muertos the skeleton represents the dead playfully mimicking the living and is not a macabre symbol at all.
Preparation begins weeks in advance. A sweet bread, pan de muerto, with decorations representing bones of the deceased is very popular as are sugar skulls. All sorts of art objects and toys which symbolically represent death in some way are created. Altars ofrecetas are set up in the home with offerings of sweets and the favorite foods and beverages of the deceased. These offerings may later be given away or consumed by the living after their essence has been enjoyed by the dead. Marigolds are the traditional decorative flower and copal is the traditional incense .
On November 2, Día de los Muertos, the spirits of the dead return. Entire families visit the graves of their ancestors, bringing favorite foods and alcoholic beverages as offerings to the deceased as well as a picnic lunch for themselves. They spend the day cleaning and decorating the grave sites and visiting with each other and other families. There are sugar skulls and toys for the children,
Emphasizing early on that death is a positive part of the life cycle. It is a happy occasion for remembering pleasant times with departed family members.
To complete the altar we need to make:
Pan de muertos
Lots of paper marigolds
Bring a photo of a person or a pet to put on the altar.
Remember them by telling a story about them.
This wonderful event is happening at
Riverstone, 18 Dart Mills,
Totnes Road, Buckfastleigh