sábado, 16 de noviembre de 2013

Halloween and Day of the Dead Recap

Yes, I know Halloween and Day of the Dead were a good two weeks ago.  But I had such nice pictures, that I just had to share.  Even if I´m sharing late! 
Halloween turned out to be a crazy, crazy day.  Not only did we wait to carve our pumpkins until the 31st, but Clara´s teacher gave us a homework assignment of bringing in an Day of the Dead mini-altar for the 1st (as the 2ed fell on Saturday this year), AND I was signed up to host the neighborhood rosary on October 31st.  Awesome. 

Clara skipped her nap, just so we could get her homework and pumpkin carving done.  These were our first jack ´o lanterns, so it was a bit of a big deal.  I saved the seeds, and scraped as much of the pumpkin walls as I could, rendering enough pumpkin puree (which broke our blender on its way to being puree) for 2 pies.  Being in Mexico, living near some families who I know are having a hard time putting enough food on the table, I feel terribly wasteful using pumpkins--a huge, expensive, EDIBLE fruit--for mere decoration.  While I know my neighbors don´t know that we are eating as much of these pumpkins as possible, my conscience is lightened. 

These were the first real jack ´o lanterns that I have ever seen on display in my eight years of living in Mexico.  Our garage got quite a few stares as the trick or treaters came around.  Clara was a big, big fan.  And I was pretty happy with them, too.  I´m not one to ge super excited about Halloween (now that I´m an adult).  However, there´s just something special about jack ´o lanterns! 

Unfortunately for me, I was in a bit of a dilemma with the rosary ladies coming over.  There don´t seem to be many things that Mexican Protestants and Catholics agree on, but being adamantly against Halloween is one of those things.  And here I was, inviting a bunch of little, old church ladies over to my house.  On Halloween.  With jack ´o lanterns on display.  [Signs of the devil, no doubt!  ;P  *gasp!*]  To be fair, if I were a traditional 100% Mexican lady, I´d probably be against Halloween, too.  It is kind of sad that it encroaches on Mexican traditions.  However, I am a gringa, and I celebrate Halloween, dang it!   But, just to cover all my bases, and in an attempt to not rain down judgement on me and my house (at least not little, old church lady judgement), I waited to put out the pumpkins until after they left.  In the end, the little old ladies probably would not have minded terribly.   

Anyway, we loved how pretty the jack ´o lanterns were, Clara and Joey got dressed up to go trick or treating.  Note:  ours seems to be the only private residence that gives out Halloween candy.  We hit up all the corner stores (and the tortilla store, of course) within a block radius of our house.  And, for future reference, the OXXO does NOT give out candy!  ;)  No real surprise there!
On Friday, Clara received more candy at school.  Presumably for Day of the Dead, but I realized that goody bags for kids were a traditional part of the Day of the Dead.  But who am I kidding?  This is Mexico and candy bags for kiddos seem to be a crucial part to ANY celebration.  

One of classrooms at Clara´s school was decorated with an elaborate ofrenda for Day of the Dead.  Another classroom sported a graveyard.  (We missed that one!  Oops!)  Clara´s class had their mini-altars on display, and another KIII class made skeleton paper dolls with very elaborate dresses.  Kids were allowed to come in costumes.  There were maybe two pumpkins, one mummy, two kids sporting horribly Freddy Kruger-type masks, but most were dressed as catrins or catrinas--skeletons dressed in elaborate turn-of-the-twentieth-century costumes--THE symbol of the Day of the Dead.    

We celebraed Day of the Dead by making pan de muerto--traditional bread that I eat far too much of during September and October.  I used a different recipe than last year.  It was good bread, but it didn´t call for orange extract, so it just didn´t taste like pan de muerto.  We´ll try a different recipe next year.  

Then on Sunday, the kids were finally allowed to eat their sugar skulls!   They only had a few pieces.  We had five skulls, once for every person in our house.  Two weeks later, there are still four skulls left, as I´m the only one who has eaten theirs (in its entirety).  Give me another day or two, and I´ll be starting in on others´ sugar skulls!  Muahaha!

Joey, attempting to break open his sugar skull.  Great symbolism of how Jesus broke the power that death has over us.  Granted, that may not be the traditional symbolism behind sugar skulls (given Day of the Dead´s strongAztec roots), but that´s the story I´m sticking to!  ;) 

2 comentarios :

I'm the Mami dijo...

Love it! We are allowed to celebrate whatever combination of holidays and traditions we want, that is the benefit if being biculutural. ;) My sister in law tried to inform me that Halloween isnt the 31st "here in mexico" so therefore I couldnt celebrate on the 31st. I promptly told her I can celebrate holidays whenever I want, and that we would !

Kids in our neighborhood kinda celebrate the American Halloween, and I ran into an older lady at the grocery store who told me her grandson carved pumpkins for homework at school! She stopped me to ask for a pumpkin pie recipe. I havent actually seen any other Jack o Latterns either though.

Great pictures! Thanks for sharing, I may copycat you this week and post ours late too.

Jill dijo...

Silly cuñada! When on earth would Halloween be, other than the 31st? ;)

But yep, we can celebrate holidays whenever we want! I´m thinking on having Thanksgiving sometime in December (but that´s just because it´s not likely that my husband will get a day off before then!)