Thursday, 9 June 2016

Dio de Los Muertos at the Mexican Embassy in Jamaica

Last night was the beginning of one of Mexico's oldest holidays so it was only fitting that the Mexican Embassy of Jamaica, the Mexican Ambassador His Excellency Gerardo Lozano and his lovely wife Marisa held an intimate cocktail party in honor of the Dio de Los Muertos. 

Dio de Los Muertos, also known as the Day of the Dead, is a two day holiday that was started in Mexico to celebrate of the lives of deceased Mexican patriots, friends and family. 

The holiday is over 3500 years old and is celebrated in different forms around the world today. 

In Mexico they celebrate the day by building an elaborate private altar dedicated to a lost love one called a ofrendas that is filled with gifts and offerings for the dead.

On the alter the family members place some of the favorite things of their lost love one. 

Favorite food items, some of their old treasured possessions and whatever else the family feel their loved one might want. 

They, also, place traditional little skulls made out of sugar on the alter as well as liquor, tobacco, etc.

The first day of the holiday is a celebration of the lives of any children that have passed away. 

And the second day is for the adult dead. 

Although the tradition was started by the Aztecs it has since merged with the Catholic faith and most altars now have Christian elements to them. 

It is a happy but solemn holiday and the Mexican Embassy observed it very appropriately.

There was traditional sumptuous Mexican fare for the crowd that came out to begin the two day holiday festivities and to see the Mexican Embassy in Jamaica's altar that has been set up for the occasion.

There were traditional tamales, a selection of the different types of Bread of the Dead as well as some delicious Mexican hot chocolate. 

The night saw the likes of the always understated elegant Anthony Miller, Jamaica's Scottish world renowned songstress Mrs. Pat Gooden and a slew of Kingston's diplomatic community.

This year's altar was dedicated to one of Mexico's most famous writers Octavio Paz Lozano.

And the Mexican Embassy's Lozano altar had every traditional item I could spot even down to the cempasĂșchil which are Mexico's orange marigold flowers also known as Flor de Muertos, the flower of dead.

All and all it was a lovely affair with just the right amount of reverent atmosphere. 

And it was a warm beautiful cloudless night with just a sliver of moon shining in Kingston, Jamaica to be celebrating one of Mexico's oldest and holiest holiday traditions.

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