A month of Halloween: Day 8

Love her or hate her – Martha Stewart knows how to do Halloween.

A number of years ago I bought one of her special Halloween magazines and saw her Shrunken Applehead Centerpiece and have always wanted to create it. I’ve even bought the apples for it a couple times but I always end up eating them (hey, pulmonologist at least they don’t go to waste). I thought about doing it this year but don’t have the space or patience for the drying out process (and I would probably just eat them anyway). But for anyone else who is interested here is a link to Martha showing you how to make it.

Her website has an Eight weeks to Halloween workshop going on that would be really fun if one was so inclined.

La Catrina – In Mexican folk culture, discount
the Catrina, popularized by José Guadalupe Posada, is the skeleton of a high society woman and one of the most popular figures of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico. Picture taken at the Museo de la Ciudad, Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico.

I have always thought it would be amazing to visit Mexico during the Day of the Dead. Here is what one website says:

Held each year between October 28th and November 2nd, Dia de los Muertos is an historic ritual celebrated primarily in Mexico, bringing together the living and the dead. Through the creation of altars, known as ofrenda, and other acts of kindness, the living offer their love and respect for those who have passed on.

Bringing communities together, Dia de los Muertos is witnessed all over Mexico. Customs vary according to region; however there are observances commonly practiced country-wide. In the most widely celebrated, and favorite of Mexican holidays, it is impossible to not experience Dia de los Muertos in
some fashion while in Mexico. Elaborately decorated shop windows, families cleaning and decorating cemeteries, and temporary markets selling special bread, treats and toys seem to be everywhere.

The ritual of Dia de los Muertos, as we know it, has experienced a number of transformations in the last 500 years due to Spanish influence.

As the colonizing Spanish began enforcing Christianity throughout “New Spain,” any means possible to indoctrinate the indigenous populations were employed. Many readily accepted the beliefs of the more powerful Spanish, and many would not. However, the Christian holidays All Saints Day and All Souls Day seemingly synchronized with indigenous beliefs in that both cultures celebrated the immortal nature of the soul.

I think this is on my list of “things to do before I die” – celebrating Day of the Dead in Mexico. I like the thought that our ancestors never really leave us. I also like the thought of coming back and somehow being able to witness the lives of my family when I pass on. (Meaning: haunting the Mister should I happen to die before him.)

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