Dia de Muertos
by Filippo Cristallo
Story edited by Michela Morelli
Originally Aztec, this feast symbolizes the commemoration for the return of the dead on earth. In 2003 UNESCO declared it an Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity as "one of the oldest and most important cultural expressions for the indigenous groups of the country"
"If truly profound and total, the cult for life is also a cult for death. The two are inseparable. A civilization that rejects death ends up denying life ".
Thus wrote Octavio Paz, among the leading Mexican intellectuals of the second half of the 20th century, in The Labyrinth of Solitude, describing the mexicanidad, mysterious and complex philosophy of living in his country, characterized by the lack of a separation between the life and death. Without death there would be no life, it is a law of nature. This postulate is deeply rooted in Mexican culture and has very ancient origins, unlike the European mentality for which the acceptance of death is an unsurpassable taboo.
In Mexico the day of the commemoration of the dead is a colorful carnival with dances and parades in costume, flower petals carpets, mariachi concerts in front of the graves in the cemeteries. People set up greats banquets that last all night, accompanied by tequila and mezcal, to symbolize a festive reunion of the dead with loved ones.
According to popular tradition, the dead return from the afterlife to reunite with relatives and friends. For this reason the Mexicans prepare on the altars of the Dia de Muertos generous ofrendas (offers) for the dead, such as calaveritas, chocolate sweets and colored sugar skulls and the inevitable pan de muertos, a sweet bread.
Protagonist of the party is the Catrina, with the corresponding male, El Catrin, a skeletal figure fully dressed, a parody of the ladies of the upper class bourgeoisie of the early twentieth century.
These photographs tell us about the paradoxical vitality of this picturesque funeral and the attachment of a people to their ancient history.
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Fotocamera: Fuji X-E1
Obiettivo: 18-55 mm