Honduras Missions

The Ritchie Family / Children's Lighthouse

Friday, October 24, 2014

Day of the Dead or Halloween?

Honduras does not celebrate Halloween. But don't sigh with relief. Instead it celebrates the "Day of the Dead" and it lasts up to 3 days.  It is a similar idea to Halloween, but expressed differently. It is confusion, a menagerie of pagan and catholic religion accepted and promoted by the Catholics. A continuation of Mayan and Aztec celebrations of the dead and adapted/adopted into catholicism. I think some of the terminology of Halloween might have originted from Day of the Dead, yet it has a much more direct link to pre columbian cultures. The little altars made at the location of death with candles, photos and flowers as a memorial around the world is derived from this celebration.

A quote from wiki--
"On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children's altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.
 â€”Frances Ann Day, Latina and Latino Voices in Literature"

The bars, Catholic church,  cemetaries and florists are all open and all very busy.  It is a celebration frowned upon and avoided by most Christians here, but they are a small minority. It is used by them as a time to witness. Our folks go to the gates of the cemetaries (packed with people putting flowers) and hand out tracts or J/Romans and offer real comfort and truth to the confusion about death people have. The church in the city may hand out 20,000 or more tracts next weekend at just one cemetary...The reaction most have is that of surprise, that someone would give away something for free at this time, even is if it just a tract or John/Romans. And few refuse the offer.

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