Truckee’s Family Resource Center Hosts Day of the Dead
October 31, 2008
How often do we think about our dearly departed? How often do we talk about them with our loved ones? What is it about death that keeps our feelings hidden and our thoughts at bay?
From time immemorial, Mexicans have traditionally honored their beloved dead in a celebratory way. Altars are thoughtfully assembled with mementos, photos, special bread (pan de los muertos) and other food commonly enjoyed by the honored deceased (Ofrendas); candles and flowers are generously placed and lit. While each region of Mexico does have its particular traditions, the entire country is awash with light and remembrance.
Sugar skulls are made and decorated in bright colors and festive designs. This custom is rooted in ancient Aztec and other pre-Hispanic peoples who believed skulls symbolized death and rebirth. Unlike their European counterparts who would later change their history, these people believed death was a continuation of life which was simply a dream from which one would wake upon dying.
After the Spanish invasion, however, the stories and traditions began to include the Christian beliefs bestowed upon them; crosses, cemeteries, masses and the well-known All Souls/All Saints Day.
Despite its evolving history, the beauty and influence of this tradition remain today.
The Family Resource Center of Truckee (FRCoT) would like to extend an open invitation to all who are interested in seeing first- hand what these mystical and colorful altars entail. Stop by the Sierra Mountain Community Education Center, 1171 Donner Pass Road Saturday, Nov. 1 from noon to 4 p.m. for a Dia de los Muertos celebration. Call 587-2513 for information.