Día de los Muertos

Last week marked a return of the Día de los Muertos parade in Mexico. This holiday, celebrated in Mexico for centuries, finds its roots in Aztec rituals tied to Mictecacihuatl, or the Lady of the Dead. It is believed that on November 1, this goddess allowed spirits to travel back to earth to commune with their loved ones. That tradition was blended by the Spaniards with Catholicism and All Saints Day when they conquered Mexico.

In Mexico, Día de los Muertos is marked by offerings of food, drinks, flowers, toys, and other meaningful mementos to encourage the spirits of departed ones to visit. Mini altars are created in homes, cemeteries, and public spaces in the hopes that deceased loved ones will hear the prayers of the living. Skeletons are present everywhere–in candy, costumes, carvings, music, and rhyme. Marigolds are the flower of choice, as the ancient Aztecs believed the spirits needed the scent of the blooms to guide them back home. Día de los Muertos is a cherished, deeply-rooted tradition in Mexican culture.

Pray for Mexico. “…the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Pray that the Lord would send more laborers who would boldly share what the Bible says about death and how we can live eternally with Jesus in heaven with this open and needy country.

About the author

Tracy Paver is a missionary to Chile working alongside veteran church-planting missionaries Jason and Lori Holt.

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