September 3, 2015
From the beginning of time, humans have 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.
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. Lots of times, even their pets were sacrificed so they would accompany their masters on their long journey.
During the celebration of the Day of the Death, from October 31st to November 2nd, people go to cemeteries to be with the souls of the departed and build private altars containing the favorite foods and beverages, as well as photos and memorabilia, of the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them. Celebrations can take a humorous tone, as celebrants remember funny events and anecdotes about the departed.
The scents of marigolds as well as burning copal (a resin of the copal tree) are thought to be most beloved by the spirits of the dead and invite them back home.
The rituals used to celebrate the day are varied and colorful. Yet, all carry the same message, celebrating the day of the dead is a true celebration of life.
In the Mayan area the ritual for the day of the dead is called Hanal Pixan, wich in the mayan language means “food of the souls”. Here, food takes on a special meaning as traditional dishes are prepared for the spirits who are believed to return on this day.
Xcaret Park honors this great event, declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, by celebrating the Festival of Life and Death Traditions every year on October 30th and 31st and on November 1st and 2nd. During this festivity you will be able to experience the Hanal Pixan ritual, cuisine of the region, workshops, crafts, gifts and altars, visual arts exhibitions, theater, dance and gala concerts.
If you’re planning to come for your Snap in Dentures, this is great time to make plans and enjoy this wonderful event!
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