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Mexican Celebrations

When people think of Mexican celebrations, they often think of Cinco de Mayo. My friend, there are many more Mexican celebrations to enjoy than just this celebration of a military victory over the French.

Mexico is a diverse and ancient country, full of many different traditions and celebrations. The native culture of the Mayans, mixed with the Spanish and even German cultures of those who have ruled Mexico make for a combination of holiday styles and reasons to celebrate that are unparalleled in other countries. The predominant Catholic religion also plays a part in the many different Mexican celebrations, and taking a trip to Mexico during one of these holiday times will make for a most memorable vacation.

One of the oddest (at least to those outside of Mexico) celebrations in this country is the Day of the Dead (El Dia de Los Muertos). Taking place over two days on November 1st and 2nd, this holiday is used to celebrate those who have passed away and other ancestors. In Oaxaca, Mexico, this Mexican celebration is especially important. Starting on noon on November 1st, families flock to the cemetery where Mariachis play music for the dead and items and food are brought to the graves of the deceased to honor them. All of the favorites of the dead relatives are included, and many families set up altars in their homes to honor their ancestors. Started with a religious picture (usually of the Virgin of Guadeloupe), these altars also include pictures of the dead along with offerings of favorite foods and even items such as liquor and cigars.

The Day of the Dead celebrations last two days with the first day and night being primarily for the children and the second being for the adults. Candles and incense burn all through the towns and cemeteries, and a marriage of the pagan roots of this ceremony and the Catholic traditions that were infused into the holiday can be seen throughout the ceremony. Mexican celebrations are extremely happy occasions. Even this one that celebrates the dead is not a scary or dark. Rather, it's an interesting festival that helps people to commune with those who have left them and to come to terms with death while giving the process the respect it deserves.

Many Mexican celebrations spring from religious tradition, such as the Day of the Dead, Christmas pageantry and Easter passion plays. Visiting Mexico during one of these times can help to give tourists a great sense of what the country and its inhabitants are truly like, while also giving visitors a chance and excuse to party.

Submitted by:

Richard Monk

Richard Monk is with http://www.factsmonk.com - facts about everything.


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