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Remembering the dead in a Mexican way

By Luis Armando Sanchez Diaz, December 4 2020—

The Day of the Dead is a traditional event that happens every year in Mexico between Nov. 1-2, where families honour their deceased relatives by assembling an “ofrenda” to welcome them back to the living world during those days. The origins of this tradition go as far as 3,000 years and has evolved in time to become the festivity we still celebrate  to this day.

This year a Mexican family living in High River, Alberta shared their culture with the community in memory of the thousands of Canadians that have unfortunately passed away because of COVID-19.

“We want to tell those families that we’re here to support them in these difficult times, that we share their pain and that we honour the memory of those who left,” said Liz Vigueras to the Calgary Herald

Vigueras along with her family founded in 2013, IRERI-Smiles — a Mexican traditional dance group — which she and her family use as a way to share their Mexican heritage with their Southern Alberta community. 

Setting an ofrenda consists of placing several items such as salt which aims to maintain the purity of the souls when travelling back to the living world, a glass of water that helps the souls in staying hydrated, candles that represent hope and cempasúchil flowers that give a good scent in the room and help guide the souls to their destiny. 

It is also essential to include the favourite dishes or beverages of the deceased relatives and in the case that you’re honouring a child family member that passed away, to include the toys that the kids used to play with.

The objective that this Mexican family has is not only to connect with the community of High River, but for all who attend their dance performances to have the opportunity to know something different and get to experience a little side of the Mexican culture. 


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