zondag 8 april 2012

Day of the Dead - Dia de los Muertos - Mexico

In het Engels, Nederlandse stukje hier.
Dit stuk staat in verband met "Dansen en Zingen met de doden" op 4 mei in Den Bosch.
Dia de Los muertos het Mexicaanse feest wat gevierd wordt op onze Allerzielen en Allerheiligen.

Day of the Dead is a time of reflection about the meaning of life and the mission that one needs to fulfill. Death in many situations imparts a feeling of pain and loss, particularly for those who do not know the purpose of their path on this earthly plane. For others, death is transcendence, transformation and resurrection. During the celebration of Day of the Dead all those feelings and beliefs come together in a season that brings to life the memory of the loved ones. In the typical Halloween festivities, death is something to be feared. But in el día de los muertos, death — or at least the memories of those who have died — is something to be celebrated. 

Origins of Day of the Dead - a merging of cultures: In Prehispanic times the dead were buried close to family homes (sometimes in a tomb underneath the house) and there was great emphasis on maintaining ties with deceased ancestors, who were believed to continue to exist on a different plane. With the arrival of the Spaniards and Catholicism, All Souls' and All Saints' Day practices were incorporated into Prehispanic beliefs and customs and Day of the Dead came to be celebrated. The belief behind Day of the Dead practices is that spirits return to the Earth for one day of the year to be with their families. It is said that the spirits of babies and children who have died (called angelitos, "little angels") arrive on October 31st at midnight, spend an entire day with their families and then leave. Adults come the following day. this is not a day of mourning, but a day of happiness. "It's a chance for us to remember the dead with love".

 From the beginning of time, man has felt the need to explain the mystery of life and death.  Many civilizations and cultures have created rituals to try and give meaning to  human existence.  
 ·  Where do we come from?  
 ·  Why does life end?  
 ·  Is there "life" after death?  
 ·  If so, what kind of  "life"? 
 ·  Can we do something while alive so we can enjoy "life" after death?  
 These are some of the questions man has asked himself  in order to understand our finite existence on this earth.  To the indigenous peoples of Mexico, death was considered the passage to a new life and so the deceased were buried with many of their personal objects, which they would need in the hereafter.  Many times even their pets were sacrificed so they would accompany their masters on their long journey.   The essence of this beautiful ritual is to lovingly and happily remember the dead relatives, their life, and in this way, give meaning and continuity to human existence. The modern celebration concerns making an offering to the person who though physically absent, is still living in our memory.

We learn resignation through adversity and hardship, and our calmness gives us humour and defiance in the face of death itself. At the same time we venerate the memory of the dead and honour their souls. Death isn't seen as the end of one's life, but as a natural part of the life cycle; the dead continue to exist much as they did in their lives, and come back to visit the living every year. The dead are not remembered or commemorated. Instead they are considered present. This is a celebration with the dead, not of the dead.

SitaRam SitaRam

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