Hanal Pixán, which means “food of the souls”, is a Yucatecan tradition held to remember in a special way the people who have passed away, beginning on October 31 and ending on November 2.
Different activities are carried out, as well as an altar where food and drinks are offered to the deceased.
The first day is dedicated to children and is known as “hanal palal”, the second day is dedicated to adults and is known as “hanal nucuch uinicoob”, while the third day is known as “hanal pixanoob”, in which each village holds a mass dedicated to the souls and is usually held in the cemetery.
In Yucatán there are several myths about this tradition, among them is the belief that on these dates the souls return on pilgrimage from the afterlife to be on the earthly plane and share with the living.
Children should wear a red or black bracelet on their right wrist, otherwise the souls that arrive may take them away.
Another belief is that on those days animals should be tied up in the houses because they can see the souls and prevent them from going to the altar.
Realities of Hanal Pixán
In the state, the pib dish cannot be missing from the altar, as it is an authentic food that is placed as an offering to the deceased and it is said that on November 8 in the so-called “bix” it should also be eaten.
In the altar of the dead, the green cross cannot be missing, because it represents the yaxché tree, as well as a glass of water, flowers, jícaras, candles, and photographs of the deceased. After all, they are indispensable elements.
The children’s altar is different from that of the adults because in the children’s altar, toys are placed and it is usually more colorful, while in the adults’ altar, cigars and liquors are offered.