Humor and Death


For Mexicans, death can sometimes be a laughing matter.

Humor in death...
"They say that Mexicans love to talk about death. We carry our little skull on the left, we talk to it to the point of mocking it; we call it a thousand names: La Calaca (Grim Reaper), La Catrina ("the elegant skeleton"), bony, skimpy, buck-toothed, skinny, pale-faced, baldy, and even your aunt and the local prostitute have a deathly equivalent." Octavio Paz
Worshiping Death
Since pre-Hispanic times in Mexico, indigenous people have worshiped death and seen it as a duality of life; part of the cycle of nature
When the conquerors arrived, the worshiping of death merged with the Catholic religion, giving rise to the Day of the Dead tradition, which is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd each year.
Day of the Dead
One of the main differences with Halloween is that offerings are made on the Day of the Dead rather than asking for things. Altars, candles, flowers, and pictures are used, along with other offerings, to celebrate the visiting souls of the dead.
The perspective on death and symbolism around it in Mexico are remarkable, thanks to certain special characteristics such as the solemn, festive, humorous and religious feel attached to this form of worship, which survives to this day.
After Death
From a pre-Hispanic perspective, the act of dying was the beginning of a journey to Mictlán—the kingdom of the dead or the underworld—also called Xiomoayan, which is a term that Spaniards translate as "hell."
As Mexicans believe that the dead "return" every year, we prepare colorful offerings, including confetti and humorous messages, to coax them and keep up the festive nature of the celebration.
Death Smiles on All of Us
Rather than being about regret and sadness, for Mexicans, death is a moment to celebrate the life and memories of those who have passed away.
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