Día de los Muertos, the
Day of the Dead, is a Mexican celebration. Here are some of the words
& phrases used for the event.
~ praise; more specifically, a Catholic hymn of
Alfeñique de Dia de los Muertos ~ sweets made of sugar,
typically in the shape of sugar skulls.
Atole ~ a gruel sweetened and flavored with crushed fruits and
sugar, and thickened with masa. Flavorings can vary.
Calavera ~ candied skulls, usually made of sugar or chocolate,
although rarely eaten; also satirical verses and/or obituaries.
Cempasúchil ~ orange-yellow marigold flower, favored for
decorations. Spelling varies.
Cielo ~ the sky, or heaven. Represented by a piece of fabric or
plastic draped overhead, above the table (ofrenda).
Copal ~ resin from tropical trees, used to make varnishes.
Burning as incense dates back to Pre-Hispanic times.
Dia de los Muertos ~ Day of the Dead. Also spelled "dias",
which is "days" (Days of the Dead).
Dia de los Difuntos ~ Also used for Day of the Dead.
Dulce de Calabaza ~ candied pumpkin.
Hojaldras ~ sweet bread.
La Catrina is a female skeleton with the chapeau and dress of
the 19th century grande dame and everywhere represents death which can
catch you anywhere and anytime.
La Noche de Duelo ~ the beginning of the Day of the Dead, with a
candlelight procession to the cemetery. Literally, "The Night of
Los Angelitos ~ children who have died & are now remembered
on the All Saints' Day feast. Literally, "little angels".
Los Niños Limbos ~ literally "children in limbo".
Infants who have died before being baptized.
Ofrenda ~ "The offering", the table or area decorated
to hold the offerings (food, beverage, candies, etc.) for the spirits.
Ollas ~ pottery made for cooking.
Tapete de Arena ~ sculptures or
"carpets" made from dyed sawdust, sand, multicolored seeds,
flower petals and powdered lime.
Todos Santos ~ All Saints' Day
Zempasúchil ~ (an indigenous) word for a special
type of marigold)
Pan de Muerto ~ bread of the dead. A sweet, rich coffee
cake decorated with meringues made to look like bones, skull-shaped
candies and sweets, marzipan death figures and papier maché
skeletons and skulls.