Houses of Mexico: Origins and Traditions

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They believe that happy spirits will provide protection, good luck and wisdom to their families. On the afternoon of Nov. People clean tombs, play cards, listen to the village band and reminisce about their loved ones. Tradition keeps the village close. Day of the Dead is becoming very popular in the U. In Mexico, the colorful, much anticipated, Day of the Dead celebrations are generally celebrated in the states from Mexico City south.

Northern Mexico, with its less indigenous and more European roots, spend the day scrubbing graves and going to Mass… not having music, drinks and parties in the cemeteries. Special Masses and perhaps cleaning of the cemetery tombs are part of the traditional activities….


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These molded sugar coffins are actually toys to delight the returning spirits of children on November 1. Pull the string and a smiling calavera skeleton pops out of his coffin!

Sugar art was brought to the New World by Italian missionaries in the 17th century. The first Church mention of sugar art was from Palermo at Easter time when little sugar lambs and angels were made to adorn the side altars in the Catholic Church. Mexico, abundant in sugar production and too poor to buy fancy imported European church decorations, learned quickly from the friars how to make sugar art for their religious festivals.

Clay molded sugar figures of angels, sheep and sugar skulls go back to the Colonial Period 18th century. A state legislator appointed him her alternate; he was empowered to cast votes when she was absent from the Capitol in nearby Boise. It was a great honor for a year-old, and more seemed sure to follow.

But just days after the appointment, on January 27, , Ismael Fernandez died in a car accident outside Wilder. His sister and grandmother chose a small obelisk as his grave marker—it reminded them of the Washington Monument. Young Ismael had been a history buff who put a framed copy of the U. Constitution on his bedroom wall. Today that obelisk stands as a monument to a local hero of the Latino community: a young man who went to city hall to make his hometown a better place to live and who believed a Latino family with roots in Mexico could leave a permanent mark on the United States of America.

Read Caption. Photographs by Karla Gachet and Ivan Kashinsky. This story appears in the July issue of National Geographic magazine.

Origins of Halloween

The town of 1, made headlines for its all-Latino city council in Miguel Arredondo arrived in and still has his first American car, this scarred Chevy. His grandkids also live in Wilder; the bouncy castle is for their baptism celebration. Guests include Santiago Rojero and his son, Santiago Jr.

Origins of Halloween and the Day of the Dead

Photograph by Ivan Kashinsky. Elvis Navarrete, wearing a hat that his father brought from Nayarit state, Mexico, looks for weeds as he walks through an onion field. The K public charter school emphasizes knowledge of indigenous culture.

Black Mexico: Inside The House Of A Typical Afro Mexican Family

Students learn Nahuatl Aztec in addition to English and Spanish. As part of their math lessons, they study a traditional computation system called nepohualtzintzin. Expanding Latinidad. Puerto Rico U. Native-born U. Foreign-born U.

Mexico - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette

Each square representS , people. Dominican Republic.


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El Salvador. All others.

Recognition by UNESCO

Latino population in metropolitan statistical areas. Riley D. Each square represents , people. San Francisco. New York. Los Angeles. San Diego. Dallas-Fort Worth. San Antonio. San Juan. Photograph by Karla Gachet. After sitting through a long Mass for their first Communion, these girls in La Puente, California, get to play outside. Nearly half of Latinos in the United States identify as Roman Catholic, while a fifth identify as evangelical Protestants. In the lively commercial district along East Cesar E. He began working at the barbershop some 40 years ago.

Now he owns it, and his wife and daughter also work there. Latinos prospered, many moved to this affluent suburb of 87, El Cenizo.

Holidays and Celebrations

But the most authentic celebrations take place in Mexico. If you find yourself in Mexico City the weekend before Day of the Dead this year, make sure to stop by the grand parade where you can join in on live music, bike rides and other activities in celebration throughout the city. Here are a few places that stand out for their colorful and moving celebrations:.

In this Mexico City suburb, bells from the historic Augustinian convent toll and community members bearing candles and flowers process to the local cemetery, where they clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones. This small city in the northeastern part of Oaxaca state is best known for its sawdust rugs. For days, locals painstakingly arrange colored sawdust, flower petals, rice, pine needles, and other organic materials in elaborate, ruglike patterns on city streets.

The festival culminates in a grand parade of skulls along Avenida Madero. Skip to main content Explore. We've all heard about the Day of the Dead or seen the classic sugar skull paintings—but what does this celebration really represent? By Logan Ward. Over woman gathered in Mexico City on November 1, , to set a Guiness World Record for the largest gathering of women dressed as Catrina.

History Day of the Dead originated several thousand years ago with the Aztec, Toltec, and other Nahua people, who considered mourning the dead disrespectful. Flowers and candles set the mood during a Day of the Dead vigil at a cemetery in Oaxaca, Mexico. Altars The centerpiece of the celebration is an altar, or ofrenda , built in private homes and cemeteries. Sugar skulls are sold in many forms across Mexico. This colorful group has sequins for eyes in Mercado Benito Juarez. Food of the Dead You work up a mighty hunger and thirst traveling from the spirit world back to the realm of the living.

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