Have you ever wondered about the celebration of Dia de los Muertos? What is it? Why and where was it first celebrated?
Well let me tell you the history of Día de los Muertos. Day of the Dead is a holiday that was first celebrated in central and southern Mexico during November 1 & 2hundreds of years ago. It coincides with All Soul’s & All Saint’s Day to honor those that have passed on.
Many believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. Families decorate altars with candles, red and orange flowers, sweet fruit, peanuts, stacks of tortillas and big Day-of-the-Dead breads called pan de muerto. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them by their families.
Here are 10 Interesting Facts you should know about Dia de los Muertos-
- Calaveras is from the Spanish word “skulls.” Posada’s skulls became closely associated with the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.
- Small and giant sugar skulls are decorated for Dia de los Muertos. Small for the children and large ones for adults as a sweet offering to those departed.
- Candy makers work 4 to 5 months in advance of Dia de los Metros to make enough candy skulls.
- Jose Posada’s most famous illustration is La Calavera de la Catrina, an image that is best associated with the Día de los Muertos holiday.
- Festivals and parades, as well as gatherings of families at cemeteries to pray for their deceased loved ones at the end of the day.
- Jose Posada is the most well-known artist for Dia de los Muertos. He was born in 1851 in the Mexican town of Aguascalientes, a colonial city in north-central Mexico. He was one of nine children and the son of a baker and homemaker.
- Posada grew up in an artist town known for creating fine pottery, textiles, tiles. At the age of 16, Jose learned the art of lithography (a method of oil and water) as an apprentice (intern) to José Trinidad Pedroza, a publisher, printer, and graphic artist.
- Both Mexican artists Diego Rivera (Frida Kahlo’s husband) and Jose Clemente Orozco influenced Posada’s art.
- On January 20th 1913, three years after the start of the Mexican Revolution, José Guadalupe Posada died at his home. He died penniless and was buried in an unmarked grave.
- Years later in the 1920s, Posada’s work became recognized on a national and international level as “printmaker to the Mexican people”.