Dia De Los Muertos


Manage episode 352680803 series 3437954
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"To the modern Mexican, death doesn't have any meaning. ...To the inhabitant of New York, Paris or London, death is a word that is never uttered because it burns the lips. The Mexican, on the other hand, frequents it, mocks it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it. It is one of his favorite toys and most permanent lover." – Octavio Paz, from The Labyrinth of Solitude (1950)

The indigenous people of Mexico have always had a unique relationship with death. More than three thousand years ago the ancient civilizations of the Aztecs, Mayans, Totoncas and the Purepecha believed that death completed the cycle of life. The completion of the life-death circle was both a natural and logical part of existence. Rather than focusing on the actual death of a person, they concentrated on the journey of the spirit. Although the physical body was no longer viable, the person’s soul had gone to another realm, to Mictlan, where the Aztecs believed the spirit had gone for eternity. For the pre-Hispanic Mexican, the concept of good and bad at the time of death did not exist – there was no heaven or hell, nothing to fear. There was no thought of final judgment and no thought of reincarnation.

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