To speak of death in Mexico is to speak in a dual way, since in addition to the mourning that manifests itself in an affective and psychological way, it also serves to perform rites and celebrations. In fact, the origin of the Day of the Dead occurred before the arrival of the Spaniards.
According to several researchers, the holiday that later gave rise to the Day of the Dead took place in the ninth month of the Mexica calendar, in the first days of August.
The purpose of this celebration was to feel close to the deceased. Currently people bring offerings to graves in cemeteries. In addition, they prepare and adorn beautiful altars in homes and pamper to those who are no longer physically with their favorite dishes.
With regard to the gastronomic theme, we could not forget the Mayan celebration of the Hanal Pixan, better known as the “food of the souls”, a tradition characteristic of Cancun, Isla Mujeres and different points of the Yucatan Peninsula. It takes place from October 31st to November 2nd, time in which the deceased “ask permission” to visit their relatives.
As a tradition, the first day is dedicated to children and they call it hanal palal. The second day (November 1) is dedicated to dead adults and is called u hanal nucuch uinicoob. In the third day (November 2) in some places celebrate mass dedicated to the souls, is known as u hanal pixanoob or misa pixan.
Although the “food of the souls” includes several religious practices, perhaps the main one is to place near the graves of the dead a table that serves as an altar with the typical food of the season, illuminated with wax candles, adorned with flowers, branches of rue and pictures of deceased people.