Origins: Mexican people believe that when a person died, the soul goes to a place called Mictlan ; the gods create this place, the made it without fear, and quite confortable, for the soul to rest in peace, until the day the souls come back home to visit their family, the god in charge of this place is the death lady, now known as the catrina, this image of catrina wasmade for a newspaper in 1913 by Jose Guadalupe posada .
The original celebration comes from an ancient one, the Aztecs had two similar celebrations, in august they made offerings to the dead kids, and at the next day they made offerings for the dead adults, they believed in the same mictlan, but the god was Mictlantecuhtli, the Aztecs believed that this god free the man of his pain an depend onthe kind of death, the soul take a different way for a different place, for example the ones that died cause of water (like drowned) went to the paradise of eternal spring, but most of souls went to mictlan.
Traditions: this is celebrated in several places, the principal one is in Mexico, but it’s also celebrated in most center America and brazil; it starts at November first and finish atNovember second, the first day is el dia de todos los santos, the day of all saints, in this day the streets are decorated with flowers and the kids makes a parade with little floats and flowers, the people in the street sells pan de muertos, dead’s bread, and Calaveras de azucar, sugar skulls.
The people starts to make altars for the dead familiars, this altar are made with various stairs, the firsthas a picture of the devotion saint, the second one is for the purgatory ghosts, the third has the salt for the purgatory kids, the forth one has the dead’s bread, this one is decorated with red sugar, it is recommended that the bread is made by the parents of dead person, as it is a consecration; the fifth is where is put the favorite fruits and food of the dead relative. Now my partner willexplain the rest….
The sixth one is for a photo of the person that is remembered, in the last one they put a cross made with hawthorn and limes. The preparative for the inside of the altar are: they light 4 candles, symbolizing the 4 corners; next to the altar, they put a clay pot over a brazier with some aromatic herbs like basil, bay leaves, rosemary and chamomile. Some families take several hoursmaking these altars; some altars are taken like real art masterpieces
At the night of the second day, the people pray in front of the dead familiar on the graves of the familiars and light candles for they to come down and enjoy their offerings. Some customs are different in other places like in Oaxaca the people makes longs rugs made with flowers, this job represent a real piece ofhand made crafts. The people that lives at Mexican towns at the USA and at the frontier of Mexico and USA, don’t celebrate he day of dead, they instead celebrate Halloween an American celebration. In japan it’s celebrated a similar festivity, the Bon Odori (the name changes depend of the region)
BON ODORI: this is a Japanese Buddhist celebration in honor of the departed souls of one’sancestors; the new customs has transformed into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors' graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance.
The festival of Obon lasts for three days; however it’sstarting date varies within different regions of Japan.
When the lunar calendar was changed to the Gregorian calendar at the beginning of the Meiji era, the localities in Japan reacted differently and this resulted in three different times of Obon. "Shichigatsu Bon" (Bon in July) is based on the solar calendar and is celebrated around 15 July in eastern Japan (areas such as Tokyo, Yokohama and the...