Sign up to get travel tips, secret getaways in the Riviera Maya, exclusive offers, new releases and more Between late October and early November, it takes place in our territory the oldest and popular Day of the Dead and celebrations of Hanal Pixan. The arrival of the Spanish to Mexican lands led to the imposition of their religion, their worldview and the date on which the Day of the Dead is celebrated. However, over time, the ancient indigenous customs have survived, and his relationship with the death are observed especially in this area.

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Every year at the end of October and beginning of November, the souls of family members and friends who have already left this world have a date with their loved ones who are still alive…in their own houses. Altars are prepared and food and beverages are served on the main table for the souls who are visiting: a celebration enjoyed by both the living and the dearly departed.

With roots in Maya traditions, from October 31 to November 2 the souls of the dead ask for permission to coming home to visit with their loved ones. The living relatives prepare the altars that honor their deceased relatives with deep devotion and abundant enthusiasm. The following days, food and beverages are added for the deceased adults. For example, for breakfast, hot chocolate is served in a gourd, as well as coffee and bread for each of the dead.

If you are asking yourself if all of this food gets to be eaten, the answer is yes! Besides the altars that are placed in houses, there is also is a tradition of creating student altar contests in the schools, or one for the whole school.

Also in some shopping malls you can also see altars with the same elements. Another tradition is that the graves are cleaned and painted. Do you want to make an altar? Go to the mar k et and buy everything that is needed. Editorial by Violeta H. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email.

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Hanal Pixán: Day of the Dead Among the Maya

The Day of the Dead is my favorite Mexican holiday. As a child I always loved Halloween and have had a cautious curiosity for anything from the world beyond. I love huge — possibly haunted — mansions and as anyone can see from my MID CityBeat Instagram feed, I have a fascination with century old houses that have been abandoned and left to the whim of the elements. Since living in Merida, I have been able to witness the deep connection Yucatecans have to this special time of year honoring the souls of their departed loved ones.


An Awaited Celebration: Hanal Pixán

It takes place from October 31 to November 2, when the souls are permitted to return and visit their relatives. This tradition includes several ways to honor the dead, with the main one consisting of setting a table that functions as an altar, lit with wax candles. Food takes on a very special meaning as traditional dishes are prepared for the spirits who will return to visit their families. Contrary to what many people think, this holiday is a way of celebrating life and honoring family and friends that have departed.


Hanal Pixan

Celebrated on the last day of October and the first days of November, the day of the dead is an opportunity to remember our loved ones and to celebrate their lives. Hanal Pixan is the name given by the Mayan of the Yucatan peninsula to this unique celebration. The Mayans celebrate it from October 31st to November 2nd, dedicating each day to a different group of spirits. The tradition includes a few rites but the main and most important of them all is the altar for the dead.


Hanal Pixán… the “Day of the Dead” for the Mayas in Yucatan

The altar is covered with a white tablecloth; there are also seven jicaras gourds with different beverages; four represent the boys in the four corners of the fields, and three represent the girls who work around the comal tortilla griddle ; these recipients contain chocolate, corn or flour atole, and water purifying element ; accompanied by breads, fruits and sweets. The banquet consists of a variety of delicious dishes, such as relleno negro, escabeche and the pibes or mucbilpollos. The offerings are withdrawn after the ceremony to be consumed and shared with family and friends. In the days of the dead in Yucatan, the absent are remembered, with ceremonies that reveal the profound Maya cosmogony, and are a motive for reflection for scholars, but also for the pleasure of the living…and their tummies! Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email.

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