Back Story – Ofrendas – Dia de los Muertos
November 1, 2016
Dia De Los Muertos – Haciendo Ofrendas
Halloween may be over in the United States, but Mexico and Central America are celebrating Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, today.
Hundreds of years ago, the Aztecs of that region honored their dead with elaborate rituals in the summer.
The invading Spanish could not stamp out the tradition, and it was eventually merged with the Roman Catholic holidays of All Saints Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls Day the next day.
Decorative skulls made of sugar are the most famous symbols of the holiday. They’re sometimes eaten or used on masks and dolls to represent the sweetness of life.
People honoring Day of the Dead also visit the graves of their relatives and build ofrendas, or small altars with flowers and gifts, inside their homes.
On Saturday, Mexico City hosted its first official Día de los Muertos parade. The inspiration: last year’s James Bond movie.
“Spectre” begins with a chase through a Day of the Dead parade, and Mexican officials saw an opportunity to promote the capital city.
Tens of thousands of people attended the parade.
Among the marchers was a troupe dressed as Aztec warriors on in-line skates. “It would be hard to conserve these traditions without any changes,” its leader said.
Karen Zraick contributed reporting.