The “altar de muerto” is a fundamental element in the celebration of the Day of the Dead.
The belief says that the spirit of his deceased returns from the world of the dead
to live with the family that day.
The most common are the altars of two levels, which represent heaven and earth; On the other hand, the altars of three levels add to this vision the concept of purgatory. In turn, a seven-level altar symbolizes the steps necessary to reach heaven and thus be able to rest in peace.
Levels with purgatory vision / can be omitted
Step 1. The image of a saint of whom he is devoted is placed.
Step 2. It is destined for the souls of purgatory; It is useful because through it the soul of the deceased gets permission to leave that place in case of being there.
Step 3. Place the salt that symbolizes the purification of the spirit for children in purgatory.
Step 4. Place the well-known “pan de muerto”, which is decorated with colored sugar that simulates the blood and is offered as food to the souls that pass through there.
Step 5. The food and the favorite fruits of the deceased are placed.
Step 6. The photographs of the deceased are placed.
Step 7. Place seeds, salt, sawdust or any product for nature.
The elaboration of the altars will consist of the creativity
of the people who compose it, the region and the materials that are at hand.
The offerings that are put on the altar are the following:
CANDLES, SYRIANS AND INCENSE.
The candles that are placed represent the light that the deceased must follow to reach the altar.
The candle represents the soul alone.
Incense, whose smoke symbolizes the passage from life to death.
FLOWERS AND MEANING.
The flowers represent the union between Mexican ancestral traditions and Catholicism.
Each region of the country has its main flowers. White, yellow and purple are common.
COLORFUL AND DECORATION.
Chains, shredded paper of various colors remind us of the joy of living, delighting the souls of the deceased
so that they feel comfortable with the visitors.
PLATES, MEALS AND SWEETS.
The way it is best received, is through rich dishes enjoyed by the deceased.
The water gives life and energy to the road also serves to purify the soul, giving a breath or breath of life.
Salt so that the body does not become corrupted and for the protection of evil spirits.
Seeds or any seasonal product of the region, represent the harvest of the land and the labor force of the ancient Indians.
Fruits are the offering that nature offers us.
The skulls of sugar that are an indigenous custom.
OTHER NON-OBLIGATORY ELEMENTS
White and new canvas (tablecloths), representing purity, heaven.
A Christ for there to be blessings.
A cross of lime that symbolizes the 4 cardinal points.
A rod to free the dead from the devil and the evil spirits.
Personal objects of the deceased, according to their activity
So know you know what to put in your own altar!
Try next year to feel part of this celebration