Celebrating Día de Muertos

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We have all lost someone, or at some point, we will. These losses bring with them pain and grief, however, there are some cultures that manage to find joy and beauty amidst the loss and pain.

Mexicans have such a culture. The original inhabitants of Mexico believed that death was but a transit into another more joyful plane: the mictlan. A sort of heaven where the deceased could go on - provided they have lived a good life on earth - to enjoy all the pleasures they loved from their material lives.

This belief has been passed on for centuries through generations of Mexicans, who now have a day devoted to remembering and celebrating the lives of their deceased loved ones: Día de Muertos.

Day of The Dead is a beautiful tradition rooted in the belief that we live joyfully on after we no longer walk the earth. That our spirit feasts on our favourite meals, music, laughter and art, in the company of those others who have also made their way to the mictlan. But above all, is the day when our loved ones come down to earth and visit us just for a little while.

In Mexico, the streets, cemeteries and homes of those who put up altars are filled with colourful tissue paper, flowers, incense, drinks, food, and candles to light the way of the travelling spirits. It is colourful and vibrant because they are celebrating life, not mourning loss.

"To me, a Mexican living in England for the past (almost) three years, celebrating Día de Muertos is no longer just about remembering my loved ones, but a way to feel closer to home, to keep my roots nourished, and my culture alive. I wanted to share this tradition with my lovely team at CAN, because there's beauty in different ways of looking at and understanding life, and all of us at Community Action Norfolk believe that. Having shared this tradition with the team, setting up the (slightly inaccurate) altar, and sharing stories of our departed loved ones, was a truly heartwarming experience, and I feel incredibly happy and grateful to be part of a team that embraces  diversity." Andrea, Community Development Officer