El Diá de los Muertos (Video & Resources)

THE DAY OF THE DEAD (OCT. 31st – NOV. 2nd)
DISCOVERING RICH MEXICAN TRADITIONS

In this short low-fi video documentary, Professor José Flores offers his insights about the traditions and mythologies of the Day of the Dead (Diá de los Muertos) celebration in Mexico. This video was filmed at the Rancho La Puerta Spa in Baja, Mexico last year by Stephen Brown, and is a great educational resources for parents and students.

Traditional Foods | Curriculum & Activities
History & Photos
| Suggested Titles | Web Reviews

TRADITIONAL FOODS

As Professor Flores explains in the video, the mythologies behind Diá de los Muertos are rich in traditional foods, including Mexican Sugar Skulls, offered as a token of sweetness. At www.mexicansugarskull.com you can find a step-by-step pictorial on making sugar skulls at home or with a classroom. There are many other traditional foods associated with this holiday, including Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead), Calabaza en Tacha (a pumpkin candy), and a sweet masa drink called atole,

CURRICULUM & ACTIVITIES

Learn how to make Mexican Sugar SkullsTeachers and home schoolers with kids 8 through 13 might be interested in the lesson plan Mexico’s Day of the Dead offered by http://www.teachervision.com as an opportunity for students to “gain an understanding that various cultures have differing views of life and death.” And at teacherlink.ed.usu.edu educators can find a Day of the Dead Mini-Unit for children in grades 4th & 5th.

In addition to making any of the foods mentioned under “Traditional Foods,” families might enjoy making paper marigolds to use for decorations. This link includes a video to watch too.

HISTORY & PHOTOS

For more information on this holiday, Wikipedia offers a look at observance in Mexico (including origins and beliefs) as well as a look at observations outside Mexico.

Photographer Nicholas Beatty has a beautiful photo essay that takes a pictorial look at some of the rich traditions surrounding Diá de los Muertos.

SUGGESTED TITLES

  • For Young Children
  • For Teachers, Parents & Older Students

WEB REVIEWS

What do Mexicans Celebrate on the “Day of the Dead”?
A description of the November Mexican holiday, El Día de los Muertos, and its origins. [c.LII]

Día de los Muertos
This Day of the Dead site provides information on the foods, history, events, altars, and culture of the popular Mexican holiday celebrated on November 2. From The Arizona Republic. [c.LII]

Mexico/Central America for Visitors
A searchable, annotated directory for a wide range of topics about Mexico and Central America. Some of the areas include geography, politics and government, immigration, doing business in Latin America, current events, art, crafts, Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), history, holidays, culture, religion, and more. There are a few links to sites in Spanish. An About.com site. [c.LII]

Food for the Ancestors
This site is a companion to a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) program presenting a “culinary-history exploration of Days of the Dead [Dias de los Muertos]” as celebrated in Puebla, Mexico. The site includes a description of the holidays and their altars (ofrendas), the traditional art depicting skeletons (calaveras), and a few recipes including one for “Salsa de Gusanos de Maguey (Worm Sauce)” with a clip of someone eating it. Not for the squeamish. [c.LII]

Reverent Remembrance: Honoring the Dead
Companion to an exhibit that “explore[s] the ancient Celtic roots of Halloween, the colorful Mexican Day of the Dead, mummification and other death rituals in ancient Egypt, Indonesian cliff burials, and modern American memorials, including those following the 9/11 tragedy.” The site includes descriptions of activities and beliefs, exhibit handouts, and links to related sites. From the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. [c.LII]

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: