Thursday, June 20, 2024

San Pedro House of Culture celebrates El Dia de Los Finados


On Wednesday, November 16th, residents of La Isla Bonita celebrated their dearly departed at the San Pedro House of Culture’s (SPHC) “El Dia de Los Finandos” celebration (Day of the Dead). This tradition is practiced annually among the Mestizo, Maya and Garifuna cultures on November 1st and 2nd, but due to inclement weather, it had been postponed.los-finados-san-pedro-house-of-culture-day-dead-4
As a large crowd gathered to start the celebration, Director of the SPHC Mito Paz welcomed everyone and explained the importance of the occasion. “El Dia de los Finados is a tradition of our people. In Pre-Hispanic times, the dead were buried close to family homes and there was great emphasis on maintaining ties with deceased ancestors, who were believed to continue to exist in a different place. los-finados-san-pedro-house-of-culture-day-dead-6Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America honored the dead and made peace with the celebration,” said Paz.los-finados-san-pedro-house-of-culture-day-dead-7
After 90-year-old Tomasita Gomez read several rosaries, and sang Catholic hymns with the audience, the exhibit was opened for viewing. Usually during this celebration, altars are made, adorned with religious amulets, and given food offerings. The foods chosen are generally those that the deceased enjoyed during their life. The exhibit displayed framed photos of loved ones that have passed on, and families observed each one and shared stories about their departed loved ones.los-finados-san-pedro-house-of-culture-day-dead-11
Paz further explained that the altar represents a recognition of the cycle of life and death, which is a part of human existence. “People die three deaths. The first death is when our bodies cease to function. The second death comes when the body is lowered into the ground, returning to Mother Earth. The third death, the most definitive death, is when there is no one left alive to remember us,” said Paz.

Afterwards, the gathering was able to enjoy some staple foods that were offered to the deceased, such as mechado, maja blanca, rice lab, pumpkin sweets, and Tamalitos de Chaya. The SPHC takes this opportunity to thank all those who sponsored and assisted in making the event possible.

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