In Oaxaca, we celebrated the Day of the Dead with a big party for our ancestors. This celebration starts with building an altar on a table and decorating it with cempazuchilt flowers. You can find this kind of flowers only in this season between October and November. The name of this flower is in Náhuatl language and means “twenty petal flower.”
In our countries, this celebration is very special because we have the belief that the souls of our dead relatives come on this date. We prepare and decorate the altar with the dishes, fruits, and beverages that they enjoyed when they were alive. On the altar, we put a special bread that is made only for this celebration. This special bread has a body shape with crossed arms and a face and is decorated with sugar or sesame seeds on the body.
We put candles and their pictures. According to our grandparents, this celebration lasts five days, starting on October 30 with the first white candle and a white flower on the altar to welcome the souls who have no family there.
On October 31, we put the second white candle with a glass of water and a white bread like a bolillo for the people who died in an accident and don’t eat. On November 1, we wait for the children’s souls. On this day, we put all sweet food, like sweet tamales, chocolate, and candies. November 2 is the day of the adults. On that day, we put spicy food, beer, tequila, cigarettes, and we burn incense of copal.
The last day is November 3. We put the last white candle and we burn incense of copal. We let the souls go, asking them to come back the next year.
In some places in Mexico on November 2, they spend all night in the cemetery, but it isn’t scary. It is a really big party with music, lights, and food.