Day of the Dead

The Mexican Culture Society and Global Lounge celebrate Day of the Dead
Monday 2 November

What is Day of the Dead?

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a Mexican holiday where family and friends gather to remember those close to them who have died.

The Mexican Culture Society explored and celebrated this annual festivity with The Global Lounge, with guest speakers delivering live and interactive presentations from both the UK and Mexico, explaining what happens during this annual festivity!

Although celebrations couldn’t take place in-person, the Mexican Culture Society planned a full programme of events to mark this important holiday, which honours and celebrates the deceased.

Speakers introduced the festivity and its importance in Mexican culture, including how it’s celebrated in the capital of Mexico, Mexico City (San Lorenzo Tenzonco) as well as El Xantolo in the Huasteca region. Speakers shared their experience of living in these parts of Mexico and what you can expect to experience during the Day of the Dead celebrations – which lasts several days – including music, shrines, and the cemetery! Also explained was one of most recognisable symbols of The Day of the Dead celebrations – a tall female skeleton wearing a hat with feathers – La Catrina, who was borne from illustrator José Guadalupe Posada.

Let’s talk about food!

Attendees got to find out about popular food, Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead) and the significance of its shape and structure – find out how to make ‘Bread of the Dead’ by heading to the Mexican Culture Society’s video on YouTube!

They also talked about a traditional mesoamerican dish, made of masa or dough, which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf – tamales! Not only available as a savoury and spicy food – but also sweet – this is a popular Mexican food with big cultural importance. Tamales, or ‘tamal’ in Spanish, are even mentioned in proverbs and phrases – ‘whenever something goes wrong, eat tamal. Whenever something goes fine, eat it as well’.

Like the sound of tamales? Have a go at making your own!

The event ended with an explanation of Calaveritas Literarias – short verses written in the form of epitaphs to mock celebrities, politicians, friends and family members! These rhymes or phrases – which were once banned – are popular in Mexico around October and November during Day of the Dead celebrations.

See the full event below, and discover more about this fascinating festivity.

The programme of events:

00:00 – 02:00 – Welcome from the Global Lounge
02:01 – 08:44 – Introduction to the festivity
08:45 – 22:35 – Celebrations in Mexico City (San Lorenzo Tenzonco)
24:15 – 41:07 – El Xantolo
42:03 – 50:22 – La Catrina
52:10 – 1:02:21 – Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead)
1:02:22 – 1:12:46 – Tamales
1:15:45 –1:21:33 – Calaveritas Literarias
1:25:02 – Event end

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Day of the Dead

Join the Mexican Culture Society in celebrating Day of the Dead!

Guest speakers will deliver live and interactive presentations exploring this annual festivity. The programme of events includes:

  • 17:30 to 18:00 – Briefing
  • 18:00 to 18:05 – Welcome from the Global Lounge
  • 18:05 to 18:15 – Introduction to the Festivity
  • 18:15 to 18:30 –  Celebrations in San Lorenzo Tenzonco
  • 18:30-18:45 –  El Xantolo
  • 18:45-19:00 – La Catrina
  • 19:00-19:15 – How to cook “Pan de Muerto”
  • 19:15-19:30 – How to cook “Tamales” 
  • 19:30 -19:45 – Calaveritas Literarias
  • 19:45 – end of the event

Each talk will last around 15 minutes; participants can simply sit back, relax and listen – or get more involved in the chat while finding out more about this cultural celebration!

Join in the event on Zoom.

Meeting password: 387206

 

The Mexican Culture Society at the University of Bristol aims to:

  • Involve the student community with Mexican traditions via cultural events
  • Strengthen the integration of the Mexican community at the University via social events
  • Promote Mexican culture, history, art, literature and scientific research within the University of Bristol student community.