A Whole Lada Enchilada
Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated in central and southern Mexico during the chilly days of November 1 & 2. Even though this coincides with All Soul's & All Saint’s Day, the indigenous people have combined this with their own ancient beliefs of honoring their deceased loved ones.
All Saints Day, celebrated by the Roman Catholic church on November 1, is set aside to honor church members believed to have gone to heaven. All Souls Day, November 2, was created to commemorate those who died baptized but without having confessed their sins, and thus they are believed to reside in purgatory. Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that intercessions (prayers) by earthly church members can cleanse these departed souls and prepare them for heaven.
For Day of the Dead it is believed that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.
Loved ones go to cemeteries to be with the souls of the departed and they build private altars containing the favorite foods and beverages, as well as photos and memorabilia, of the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them.
You’ll see the image of a skull represented in decorations and masks during this holiday. It is thought that possessing a skull or any other Day of the Dead item will bring you good luck. Some favorite foods are tamales and chocolate or sugar skulls. This cultural tradition is a wonderful way to celebrate the loss of loved ones who have passed on.
On the flip side of the calendar, this week started the City of San Antonio's Fiesta Celebrations, and to start it off my neighbor and friend Jacque invited us over for enchilada's. What a treat, she knows how to make authentic Mexican enchiladas and she also made Tex Mex enchiladas.