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Day Of The Dead Food Traditions

October 20, 2017Read More

Halloween in America means Day of the Dead quickly follows in Latin America. Though only separated by a day, the Latin America Halloweentraditions of both form a stark contrast to the secular and Latino traditions. On the surface they may look a little similar but upon closer look, they are vastly different.

Latin American Food Traditions

One area, which you know I would address here, are the food traditions of Dia De La Muerta (Day of the Dead in Spanish). In North America food seems to based on the theme of secularity and fun. Candy passed out to children who are dressed as fictional ghoulish creatures is the main event followed by parties with junk food at every turn. Pizza, burgers, wings, and truckloads of sweets are the food of Halloween in North America. Death is almost mocked in this holiday, as well as any semblances of healthy food habits. In Latin America Day of the Dead is a serious holiday.

Day of the Dead is designed to honor the dead. It is a homage to family members past. This somber mood envelops just about every aspect of this November 1st Holiday. And included in this seriousness, is the food. The dishes made in the different Latin American countries have deep symbolic meaning.

Examples of Latin American Food Traditions

I pulled a few food and beverage customs and listed them here. This is not to say that there are not many important Latin America Halloweentraditions that are not culinary, I am just featuring a sampling of them here.

Ecuador

In Ecuador one custom is to bring a purple drink called Colada Morada to the gravesites of loved ones. This is accompanied by a sweet bread, which is in the shape of a baby.

El Salvador

In El Salvador festivities include a late night pumpkin dish with honey.

Nicaragua

In Nicaragua candy, fruit, and bread accompany other offerings on the gravesites of the deceased.

Peru

You see a similar theme in some areas of Peru where sweet foods and bread are often brought graveside

But regardless of the food, you do not see humor or commercialization of the macabre. It is a holiday of honor, and the foods and drinks reflect this.


Article Citations

Damaly Gonzalez October 21, 2016 celebration, dia de los muertos, Festival, Holiday, indigenous people, latin america, mexican celebrations, Mexico, et al. “Día de los Muertos Celebrations in Latin America & Caribbean.” HipLatina, 15 June 2017, hiplatina.com/dia-de-los-muertos-celebrations-latin-america-caribbean/.