This was my introduction to the recipes of the evening for my group:
In Mexican lore, it is believed that a person is more alive after death; that life as we know it is some sort of dream state. Death is a beautiful thing to be welcomed. When the Catholic religion gained favor, it brought fear of death and the concept of hell. Similar to Italian All Soul's Day, it is believed that the souls of loved ones are allowed to return for a visit on November 1st and 2nd. Children and infants return on the 1st and adults on the 2nd.Since my sister's 71st birthday would have been November 2nd, and she was never one to miss a good party, I thought I would post a virtual altar to share.
As the day draws near, each family prepares an altar or serving table to welcome their loved ones. It is decorated in brightly colored fabric, candles, photos of the departed, flowers (paper versions and real marigolds), sugar skulls to represent the living and the dead, and favorite foods of the departed.
For my sister, I will chose our mutual favorite photo:
I will leave her a "real" Coca Cola - something she loved but that diabetes took from her. I'll leave one from Mexico because it still has sugar in it and tastes like they did in our childhood. I would leave her a pack of Winston cigarettes. Even though she quit smoking decades ago, in the last year of her life, she would frequently ask where her cigarettes were. And one of her winter vests that she gave me will be placed nearby; she was always cold.
For my father, I would choose this photo of the two of us - my earliest memory from childhood:
And my beloved Maggie May - the dog that saved my life. I will place a photo of her in one of her Halloween costumes. She loved dressing up!
For my sweet girl, I will leave some cookies and one of the kerchiefs she loved wearing around the holidays.
You have to admit, there is much beauty and comfort in this holiday when you look at the meaning behind it all!
Who will you add to the altar? What will you leave them for their journey???