Day of the Dead

Hancock International College is located in Southern California where our international students get exposed to a variety of cultures within and outside of school. Our ESL students may be familiar with Halloween but maybe not with Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.  Logan Ward with National Geographic gives a nice summary.

Ward says, “HERE’S ONE THING we know: Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is not a Mexican version of Halloween. Though related, the two annual events differ greatly in traditions and tone. Whereas Halloween is a dark night of terror and mischief, Day of the Dead festivities unfold over two days in an explosion of color and life-affirming joy. Sure, the theme is death, but the point is to demonstrate love and respect for deceased family members. In towns and cities throughout Mexico, revelers don funky makeup and costumes, hold parades and parties, sing and dance, and make offerings to lost loved ones.

The rituals are rife with symbolic meaning. The more you understand about this feast for the senses, the more you will appreciate it. [...] Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration of life and death. While the holiday originated in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America with colorful calaveras (skulls) and calacas (skeletons). Learn how the Day of the Dead started and the traditions that make it unique. [...]

Day of the Dead originated several thousand years ago with the Aztec, Toltec, and other Nahua people, who considered mourning the dead disrespectful. For these pre-Hispanic cultures, death was a natural phase in life’s long continuum. The dead were still members of the community, kept alive in memory and spirit—and during Día de los Muertos, they temporarily returned to Earth. Today’s Día de los Muertos celebration is a mash-up of pre-Hispanic religious rites and Christian feasts. It takes place on November 1 and 2—All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on the Catholic calendar—around the time of the fall maize harvest.”

Check out the full article with the URL below!

Full Article: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/north-america/mexico/top-ten-day-of-dead-mexico/

Idiom of the Day

As dead as a doornail

Meaning: possessing no life whatsoever

Example: Did Romeo survive and marry Juliette? No, he was as dead as a doornail.