Día de Muertos in Contemporary Mexico. Transformations of a Mexican Tradition

Ponocná Petra

Abstract

Día de Muertos, the Mexican celebration of death, is considered to
be a traditional Mexican celebration by most Mexicans. The majority of them
believe that the specificity and magnificence of this feast are unprecedented.
Día de Muertos is a product of the syncretism of the Mesoamerican traditions
of worshipping the dead and the Catholic celebrations of All Saints’ and All
Souls’ Day. Besides this, it is considered to be traditional commemorative
ritual; it is also considered to be a symbol of Mexican national identity, and
the celebration is supported by Mexican nationalists. Over the past 30 years,
the celebration has evolved dramatically and has been influenced by American
holiday of Halloween, which is celebrated by more and more people thanks
to the influence of modernisation. Despite the fact that the Día de Muertos
celebration may seem to be uniform, its local versions differ slightly. The aim
of this paper is to describe and to analyse the process of the contemporary
changes in this celebration and to approximate its importance in Mexican
society, particularly in Querétaro city and in the Xochimilco district in Mexico
City. For my research, I used the ethnographic methods of participant observation
and interviews.

Keywords

Mexico; Día de Muertos; Xochimilco; Mexican nationalism; tradition; Halloween

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Vydání: 17, 2015, 3