Each year on November 1 and 2, Mexico celebrates the Day of the Death. This is a pre-Columbian tradition, that took some religious features during the Spanish Colony. It is one of the most colorful and beautiful Mexican traditions, where we remember and pay homage to our dead loved ones and friends, and celebrate and make friends with death for one night. In the State of Michoacán (where Morelia sits), the arrival of the Monarch butterflies, which takes place invariably in those days, is considered an important element of this celebration. The ancient Purépecha Indians thought that the Monarch butterflies were the souls of their loved ones that came to visit the living for one night. To this date, Monarchs are thought of as the souls of our relatives and we prepare to receive them on Nov. 1 All Saints Day (children), and Nov. 2 the Day of the Death (adults). These are the dates celebrated by the Catholic Church and other Christian churches all over the world. However, Mexico celebrates it in a very special way and the Monarch butterfly element makes it unique. There is also special food and libations, including a special bread to be consumed at home or the cemeteries.
Gloria A. Bessenbacher, Chair