Being the eldest granddaughter, I was happy to help cut vegetables and cold meats for 3 days. We would fill the baby bath tubs with chopped carrot, cauliflower and tons of other vegetables to make a curtido (pickled vegetables) to be beautifully arranged with cold meats to create the famous Fiambre. My grandma would do it with beetroot so it has a pink and colorful undertones. We would love to pick out the ham and boiled eggs that were reserved for garnishes. How much I cherished those 3 days of preparation for family and friends to gather and eat fiambre for days. Every auntie would bring their own Pyrex to get fiambre for each family and my grandma would also make it for sale.
On Nov 1st, thousands of Guatemalan families will visit their ancestors in our colorful cemeteries and have a meal reminiscing all the family stories and jokes. It is how oral tradition keeps family connected and alive, to get a sense of belonging and connection.
This is Chichicastenango cemetery, voted the most colorful in Guatemala. Photo by Nat Geo
Mayan communities gather in the hillsides to see this amazing kites take flight and spend the whole day together with their families.
Did you know we have 23 different Mayan dialects? And that every town has their distinctive traditional clothing?
Now I live in England I appreciate all this folklore more and want to keep learning.
Photo courtesy of Guate Detalles
It is important to highlight there is a big misconception about Dia de los muertos because 007 movie commercialized it.
In 2016, Mexico City hold their first Day of the Dead parade thanks to Spectre. This Spectre Special Tour is not the authentic tradition, however it is doing wonders for tourism.
In the latest decades, Guatemala has adopted Halloween, however it is still considered an American/Irish tradition.
Now I live in England, I am learning more about Celtic history and how All Hallows became Halloween. The Celts lived 2,000 years ago in Ireland, UK and France. They celebrated their New Year on Nov 1st.
However, in Mexico they dress as skulls because the emperor Butterfly migrates from the Rocky mountains in USA and Canada to Michoacan in Mexico. According to the cosmovision, this butteflies represent the souls for the deceased that come back home.
Each country has their stories and traditions and it is amazing to learn more about them!
I hope you have enjoyed this blog.