Eat, dance, remember, and be merry!
Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos in Spanish, is a national holiday that was conceived in Mexico 3000 years ago. This year, it is on Thursday, November 2, 2023. Not only do Mexicans celebrate on this day, but other cultures around the world do as well. The Aztecs' belief was not to grieve loved ones that passed but to celebrate and honour them with food, drink, music, dance, and offerings. The return of their spirits would be welcomed! It is believed that the souls of the dead come back to visit loved ones. This day, November 1st, is not a sad day but a happy day, so no tears are allowed! Despite its name, Day of the Dead is actually a happy, colourful celebration and not a mournful commemoration. Beginning with a religious ceremony, participants are asked to contribute objects symbolizing the remembrance of departed loved ones for a special alter display.
The altar would be decorated with photos, candles, mementos, and flowers. Stories, memories, and tales are shared to honour loved ones. Since food is a big part of the celebration, it’s often believed that “the dead will eat the “spiritual essence” of the food.”
Mexican sugar skulls, also known as calaveras, are offered to both the living and the dead.
These special cookies, known as Sweet Spirits Cookies, are as meaningful as they are delicious. Each cookie is lovingly crafted, in the shape of skulls and decorated with intricate designs, representing the celebration of life even in the face of death. They serve as offerings to the spirits of the departed, expressing love, respect, and cherished memories.
To make your own, mix:
1 teaspoon of meringue powder;
1 cup of granulated sugar;
1 teaspoon of water
Mix well, pack into a mould, and let dry overnight. Pan de muerto (“bread of the dead”) is a sweet egg bread made in various shapes (plain rounds, skulls, and rabbits, often decorated with white frosting to look like twisted bones).
So grab a cookie, honour your loved ones, and let's embark on this sweet journey together.