Today, Nov. 1, is a special day that you don’t normally see celebrated in the U.S., but in Mexico it’s a really big deal. It has a spooky side to it and lands on the day after Halloween.
Yes, I’m talking about Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos), the Roman Catholic imposed ritual to commemorate All Souls’ Day, which is observed in many countries. The custom was established by pre-colonial Mexican civilizations and become a ceremony where indigenous beliefs blended with Catholic beliefs.
Therefore, the Day of the Dead in Mexico is not a mournful commemoration, but a happy and colorful celebration where death takes a lively, friendly expression. Indigenous people believe that souls do not die, that they continued living in Mictlan, a special place to rest. In this place, the spirits rest until the day they can return to their homes to visit their relatives.
The celebration is separated over two days. The first day, Nov. 1, is where the souls of the children are honored using white color on flowers and candles. Some families put out the old toys and memories that they held on to. The second day is Nov. 2, which is the remembrance of the adult souls where you will see favorite dishes of the passed being made, as well as a few traditional dishes. Mexicans believe the souls are fed by the aroma of food.
Every region has different traditions, but all celebrate for the same reason. This year, Raya is celebrating with a five-course taco menu for $65 per person. The evening will include live music, cooking action stations and more. Chef Richard Sandoval and I will be in the dinning room explaining all the fun and unique tacos that will be offered. We will also be offering a tequila tasting with each course … let the fun begin!