The folk commemoration is one of the most ancient customs typical of different cultures and nations. One of the most interesting of these traditions is Day of the Dead celebrated in Mexico and other countries of Latin America. I have found an article “Day of the Dead History: Ritual Aating Back 3000 Years” describing this holiday on the website providing information on Mexican and Latino culture.
It attracted my attention because I once witnessed the celebration of this holiday, which impressed me with its colorful manifestation and cheerful atmosphere. It is also interesting to see how the ancient tradition has survived until today and remains meaningful to people, even if it becomes adjusted to modern life, its imperatives and conditions.
Day of the Dead is one of the most popular Mexican holidays rooted in both Hispanic history and the ancient Mesoamerican tradition, which develops new features in the multi-cultural environment of South Texas and other localities. The article provides a good description of Day of the Dead by covering different aspects of the memorial form and including the stories of people who have taken part in it. Pictures of artifacts and photographs of people telling their stories make the publication creditable and interesting to read. The most characteristic feature of this ritual is its easy, light-hearted attitude to death, which seems to mock it, and the experience of communicating with the souls of the dead.
The latter are seen as visitors and welcome guests at the holiday. Images of human skulls, wooden and made of sugar, and skull masks are typical objects of the holiday. When conquistadors’ attempts to eradicate the ancient Mesoamerican tradition of celebrating Day of the Dead failed, its date was shifted by Spaniards, to make it more Christian-like. Today it takes place on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (Day of the Dead History: Ritual Dating Back 3000 Years). People focus on commemorating their dead relatives by building altars in their homes and decorating graves at cemeteries. The author provides the videos of the people who have been involved in this commemorative form or, as one of them, an artist, prepare the props and masks for the holiday.
The author’s description is positive, with a focus on the cultural value of this tradition and its humanistic message of seeing death not as the end of life but as a major transformative event in human existence promising rebirth and kind of integrity with the living world. Turner’s and Jasper’s academic article “Day of the Dead: the Rex-Mex Tradition” focuses on the description of the art exhibition representing the artistic expressions and artifacts relating to Day of the Dead. It details the transformations the holiday has had because of its popularization in the multicultural environment and becoming a tourist attraction (Turner and Jasper 133).
A comparison between the commemorative form in its Mexican and US versions reveals interesting facts of the attitudes of different cultures to the spirit world and the ideas …