This year there will be approximatelly 120 “Hanal Pixan” altars and many people from the state of Yucatan will participate in this annual celebration, including schools, companies, non profit organizations and government offices.
This sample of Yucatecan traditions is usually represented in the shape of a Mayan hut, and inside to honor the deceased is the altar they adorn with candles and other ornaments.
In this altars you can find the traditional “pib” (Mucbipollo), tamales, pan de muerto, chocolate, fresh oatmeal, corn tortillas, yucca with honey and fruits of the season as the tangerine, orange, grapefruit, guayaba and jicama.
When the altar is dedicated to children it is decorated with traditional toys such as spinning, the okra, wooden carts or Mexican traditional wooden toys.
When the altar is dedicated to adults, their relatives include their photographs, along with their favorite liquors, cigarettes if they smoked, and/or favorite food.
November 1st is dedicated to the souls of children that have passed, and the second of the month to adults.
Among the representations you can find huts, wells, pigpens, chicken coups, small graves or cemeteries, etc.
For some of the Yucatecan people, it is a tradition to taste the food after making a prayer, in order to invite the souls of the departed to come and have a taste themselves.
Day of the Dead is celebrated differently depending on the region of Mexico you happen to be in. And as we all know in the Yucatan,
more specifically the city of Merida, there’s a large Mayan presence and the people have their own name for these celebrations, Hanal Pixán which roughly translates to “Meal with the Dead” or “food for the souls.” Like in other areas, shrines are built with photos and specially prepared food offerings to help deceased
loved ones find their way home.
A unique tradition to this area is cooking the Mucbipollo, a special tamale wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in an underground pit.
As usual, the citizes of Mérida will be building special altars to honor their deceased loved ones in the “Plaza Grande”, using photographs, favorite foods and possessions of the departed.
Family and friends will also be gathering at cemeteries (cementerios in Spanish) to visit graves and leave offerings to their loved ones throughout the day and night.
Schedule for today’s Paseo de las Ànimas (Walk with the Souls):
ARCO DE SAN JUAN:
6 pm: Trío Musical Show
7 pm: Folkloric Dance Company of Mérida
8 Pm: Yucatecan Comedy Show (if you don’t speak “Yucatecan” don’t bother, you won’t find it funny)
ERMITA DE SANTA ISABEL:
6:00 p.m.- Prehispanic Music with Pedro Hernández
7:00 p.m.- Vaquería de las ánimas (Regional Folkloric Dance)
8:00 p.m.- Las Maya Internacional Show
9:00 p.m.- Stories and legends of the Yucatan with Paranormal Specialist Jorge Moreno.
MUNICIPAL CEMETERY (Cementerio General)
Guided Tours (IN ENGLISH!) will be conducted within the premises of the Mérida Municipal Cemetery starting at 6, 7 and 8 pm.
ESQUINA DEL DIAMANTE
(Calle 64 entre 73 y 75 Colonia Centro)
7:00 p.m.”Pok Ta Pok” MAYAN BALL GAME REPRESENTATION
Source: (texts and photos) www.merida.gob.mx
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