02 July 2010
CELEBRATE THE COLOURFUL DAY OF THE DEAD IN MEXICO
It may seem ghoulish but Mexico's Day of the Dead is actually a happy and colourful occasion celebrated by Mexican families on November 2.
Mexicans believe that death is a transition from life to another level and that it is possible for the living to communicate with the dead.
So on the Day of the Dead Mexicans congregate in cemeteries to communicate with the souls of the departed, and to build private altars and to adorn graves with offerings such as orange marigolds, candied pumpkin and pan de muerto (bread of the dead). In some parts of Mexico families even have graveside picnics.
A common symbol of the holiday is the skull, or calavera, which celebrants wear as masks, called calacas. Sugar, chocolate and amaranth skulls are given to friends so they can "eat their own death".
Travellers can witness and observe the colourful Day of the Dead celebrations this year by joining one of two tours, organised by Adventure World. Magical Mexico is an eight day tour, costing from $1769, which includes Oaxaca with its rich cultural traditions, the architectural marvels of Palenque, colourful colonial cities, and the legendary pyramids at Chichen Itza. Or travellers can choose the longer Highlights of Mexico, Cuba & Guatamela, 21 days from $3,466. Visit the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon, Chichen Itza, the beach resort of Cancun, before travelling on to Havana, Cuba and Guatemala.
Contact your travel agent or Adventure World on 0800 899 111 or go to www.adventureworld.co.nz for more information.