Monday, October 31, 2016

The Day of the Dead: Oct. 31-Nov. 2 (video); Crystal Quintero, Pfc. Sandoval, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly
(Facebook) Produced by Gabriela Traverso; written by and starring Gabriela Traverso; DP Cuauhtemoc Gonzalez; edited by Gabriela Traverso.

Unveil Mayan, Aztec, and Mexican history and watch ancient traditions come to life as we travel to Mexico to uncover the meaning behind one of the country's most famous holiday parties, The Day of the Dead!

This beautiful celebration, held right around Halloween, is about life as much as it is about death, a commemoration of the dearly beloved and departed. Be surprised by some insights that surround the magical event known there as El Dia De Los Muertos.

BBC investigates: Dia de los Muertos
(BBC World News/Travel Places & Culture) Feasts, Mexico, cultural documentary on parties (2011)

This is not sad but a day of joy and reunion.
Food writer and presenter Stefan Gates immerses himself in some of the most extraordinary feasts and festivals on earth. By joining ordinary people in these strange and wonderful distillations of their culture and beliefs, he hopes to gain a revelatory insight into how the world thinks and feels.

Gates goes on a wild emotional and spiritual rollercoaster ride, starting with a teenage girl's bizarre coming-of-age ceremony (Quinceañera*) and ending with The Day of the Dead, a cacophonous cross-cultural festival of the senses during which modern Aztecs and Mexicans believe their loved ones come back from the dead for three days (Oct. 31-Nov. 2) every year to spend the day with them.

Stefan Gates (BBC World News)
In Oaxaca [wah-ha-KAH], which has a much stronger Aztec influence than Spanish,  Gates is dressed up as a dead woman and made to dance like a lunatic at the head of a procession as it makes its way through town.

He is turned into an emotional wreck at the moment the dead return, bursting into tears as El Dias de los Muertos makes him experience grief and loss for the first time.

*(Feasts/BBC) Coming-of-age at Fifteen (15): debutante's ball, Mexico

But then in the next breath, the family Gates is living with teach him to celebrate and laugh at death. They turn his views on their head, allowing him to embrace and conquer his fear of death through an extraordinary sensual onslaught of food, flowers, songs, and smells.

The sight of the graveyards overflowing with flowers and mescal-drinking revelers is a truly life-changing experience.

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