Day of the Dead (Hanal Pixian)
Day of the Dead (Hanal Pixian) The day of the dead or in Mayan language Hanal Pixian is one of the most symbolic and respected traditions in the Mayan culture and in our country. The people who die didn’t leave definitively, their soul is still around, mainly in the days of the dead, they return to their homes for taste and be delighted by the dishes that their relatives had prepared for them.
But what is the Hanal Pixian?
Hanal Pixán or food of the souls, is a Mayan Town tradition made to remind in an especial way friends and family that left for eternal journey. This is a special moment for the living relatives, October 31st to November 2nd, souls get permission to visit their families. Between those dates, kids use a black or red lace in their wrist to not be taken by the souls of the dead.
It is also Mexican tradition to tide the pets of the house because they could see the souls and prevent them from entering to the altars. The tradition includes various rites, but the main task is to set up a table that works as an altar, typical food of the season is placed such as: atole, mucbipollos, jícamas, tangerines, oranges, fresh papaya, coconut and pumpkin seeds, tamales, all that adorned with candles, flowers, branches of “ruda” And the images of the Deceased Persons.
The offerings for deceased children were placed in an altar decorated with light colors, toys and food of each family choice such as chocolate, tamales, “pibes”, sweets, fresh fruit of the season, atole and cassava with honey, and is adorned with flowers of “xpujuc” (of wild type and color yellow), “xtés” red in color and “virginias”. The houses must always be clean and without work pending (as making tortillas, for example).
It is believed that if something was missing to be done, the souls will arrive and will have work pending, which would be a discourtesy. The second and third day are placed on the table foods and beverages, as well as brandy and cigars if is that the dead to be remembered were accustomed to eating certain stews, drinking or smoking. As will be seeing, the main element of this ritual is food and the local gastronomy welcoming the soul of the deceased loved ones.