Four tips to celebrate life like the Mexicans
It will come as little surprise to you that I love a good celebration. And at this time of year, there is so much enjoyment to look forward to – with bonfire night and Christmas on the horizon. But before those festivities begin, it is Halloween and Day of the Dead.
And although the little ones are fans of Halloween in our household, with the mischief, costumes (and sweets of course!), I prefer the enjoyment of the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos as the Mexicans call it.
This two-day event isn’t really something that we really celebrate here, however I love what is being expressed through the explosion of colour and joy in the Day of the Dead festivities.
Celebrate the memories
Because the point is to demonstrate love and respect for family members who have been lost. And so it got me thinking, how we can adopt some of this life celebration into our own memories of loved ones and I put a few tips together.
Don’t worry I’m not suggesting costumes and make up, just some subtle ways you can celebrate the love and memories you hold for people who are no longer with us.
Play a favourite tune
In towns and cities throughout Mexico, people sing and dance to reunite the living and dead. Now unless you’re the performing type, singing and dancing in front of others is probably not your thing. But how about popping on your loved ones’ favourite type of music or a song that you enjoyed together? Take some time to remember the good times you shared.
Enjoy a delicious dish
Families in Mexico create ofrendas (offerings) to honour family members that have passed. These offerings are believed to encourage visits from the land of the dead as the departed souls hear their prayers, smell their foods and join in the celebrations.
Did you have a favourite restaurant that you liked to visit? If your loved one had a favourite meal or type of food, perhaps you could recreate it and enjoy the memories that come with the aroma of the dish.
We are used to decorating gravestones and placing flowers at places for remembrance here. In Mexico, altars are decorated with bright yellow marigold flowers on the Day of the Dead. What was your loved ones’ favourite flower? Perhaps buy some if they are in bloom, or you could even plant a tree in their honour.
The Mexicans place photos of the departed around their homes during Day of the Dead. Take a trip down memory lane and look through some old photograph albums. I like to look at pictures of my grandparents and remember the fun we had dancing around their kitchen and the laughs we had with them at Christmas time.
It’s about the joy, not the sadness
I hope this blog has given you a few little ways you can enjoy memories and take some time to celebrate their life and what they meant to you.
Do you have any other celebrations that you’d like to share? Leave us a comment below as we’d love to hear them.