Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos)

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"Ancestor" by Dream Asylum

Today is the last day of the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos). Honoring the dead occurs in ancient cultures all over the world, and even in modern times it plays an important role in religions. It is founded on the belief that the dead live on and are able to influence the lives of later generations. These ancestors can assert their powers by blessing or cursing, and their worship is inspired by both respect and fear. Rituals consist of praying, presenting gifts, and making offerings. In some cultures, people try to get their ancestors' advice through oracles before making important decisions.

One of my favorite things to do is to make Pan de Muerto with my daughter. We get to make a great big mess in the kitchen and I tell her stories about our family. This year my oven is broken but luckily I live in a neighborhood that has several Mexican and Puerto Rican bakeries! They sell tiny loaves of Pan de Muerto sprinkled with colored sugar! Light a white candle for your Ancestors today!

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