In Mexico celebrated day of the dead

© RIA Novosti / Dmitry Znamenskii, Patzcuaro the day of the dead, Mexico, MichoacanIn Mexico celebrated day of the dead© RIA Novosti / Dmitry Znamenskiy

Despite the ominous name and patina of «devilry», a Mexican Day of the dead has much more in common with the Orthodox Saturday than it seems at first glance.

The RIA Novosti correspondent was convinced of it, having been in the heart of the celebrations of this most cheerful holiday of Mexico.

The meaning of the holiday

It is believed that the 1st and 2nd of November the souls of the dead return to their homes to visit their loved ones, and the living shall meet them with joy and love. The celebration associated with death and subsequent trip to the other world, was held on the territory of present-day Mexico before the arrival of the Spaniards, however, then the local people celebrated it in August, dedicating the celebration to the children, the memory of the dead and paying homage to the goddess Mictecacihuatl, the wife of the God of the dead Mictlantecuhtli.

The Spaniards tried to bring in pagan ritual, the Christian tradition: moved it to November, to all the saints, have reduced the duration of the celebration from one month to three days. However, he still did not fully Christian, retaining many of the pagan hell and the atmosphere of joy and fun. And a symbol of Day of the dead is not so much cross, as the skull is made of sugar, chocolate, papier-mache, marzipan, plastic, iron, and even beads.

The town of Patzcuaro on the same lake in the Mexican state of Michoacan is a four-hour drive from Mexico city, and is one of the most popular places for celebrating of Day of the dead. So much so that hotel rooms here should be booked at least six months, and even better for the year.

Local and foreign tourists of all stripes attracts the island Hanitsio with a population of 2.5 thousand people and a tradition to spend the whole night with 1 to 2 November at a small cemetery, meeting the souls of dead relatives.

© RIA Novosti / Elena Marginalutility Mariachi sing songs on the graves in day of the dead. Patzcuaro, Michoacan, MexicoIn Mexico celebrated day of the dead© RIA Novosti / Elena Marginalutility Mariachi sing songs on the graves in day of the dead. Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico

Wrapped in a poncho and a hat (the temperature at night in Patzcuaro and the surrounding area reach up to 8 degrees), tourists line up in long queues on the boat over to the island. And there is a loud party on the whole island with music, tequila, coffee, restaurants with food, in the small cemetery – tomb, decorated with petals of orange marigolds, mountains of flowers, candles, fruit, and local residents, on duty at the graves of loved ones.

In Patzcuaro there is a legend according to which the souls of the dead turn into butterflies and fly over the lake in search of their living friends and relatives. Day of the dead coincides precisely with the beginning of the season of the monarch butterfly, which fly in the winter in the forests of Michoacan from the United States and Canada.

© RIA Novosti / Elena Carginogenicity the day of the dead lead to the cemetery musicians performing favorite songs of the deceased. Patzcuaro, Michoacan, MexicoIn Mexico celebrated day of the dead© RIA Novosti / Elena Carginogenicity the day of the dead lead to the cemetery musicians performing favorite songs of the deceased. Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico

«The whole day – from the evening of the 1st of November until the night of the 2nd with no a break came and went for us on the island. All want to see our festival», — told RIA Novosti, a local resident.

In other areas, Patzcuaro go to the cemetery in the afternoon. First surprise number of colors, people and noise. Then the shocked musicians-Mariachi, singing on the graves of the favorite songs of the deceased, and the waiting list to order another.

But if you look closely, you can see a lot in common with traditions of Saturday at least, in the countryside of Central Russia and the Volga region. Many in Mexico, as in Russia, come from afar, be sure to cook food and bring it with you, remembering the departed. Of course, no one is dancing at the graves, not happy and laughing. And, of course, the day of the dead is not Halloween: if the idea of the latter is that to scare away evil spirits, the Mexican holiday spirits, on the contrary, happy and welcome. Because even spirits need to have their loved and they are remembered.

© RIA Novosti / Dmitry Znamenskii during Day of the dead in the cemetery of the island Hanitsio in the middle of the lake Patzcuaro, Mexico, MichoacanIn Mexico celebrated day of the dead© RIA Novosti / Dmitry Znamenskii during Day of the dead in the cemetery of the island Hanitsio in the middle of the lake Patzcuaro, Mexico, michoacán

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