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Dia de Muertos at Villa Mexico!

What is Dia de Muertos, you ask? it literally translates to Day of the Dead, and it is celebrated on November 1 and 2 every year.

Don't worry, this isn't a day of rituals and scary stuff, quite the contrary. It is a holiday to remember the loved ones who have left this life and gone on to the after life. It was originally a pre-colonization holiday celebrated in August, where Mexican Aztec indigenous ancestors laid food, drink and gift offerings to the souls of their spirits to "take away" with them as they visited the world of the living and returned to the world of the dead. After colonization the church moved the holiday, as it agreed with its symbolism, to November so the celebrations coincided with the already established All Souls Day- adding the use of altars and saints along with the traditional offerings to join the two lines of worship.

Whether a church-goer or not, Mexicans around the world still observe this day and see death without as much fear as other cultures. We know our loved ones will be in our hearts forever, and we celebrate their lives, their legacy every year- knowing that when it's our turn, too, our loved ones will keep us alive in these celebrations.

In Mexico the festivities are a national holiday, and around 1910 to 1913 the holiday gained wider notoriety thanks to the sketch of La Catrina (an elegant skull lady) by Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada. This gave way to more caricatures, dioramas, sculptures and pop or commercial art to be used in altars at schools or homes. To-date, even the tiniest altars can commemorate the holiday in dorm rooms, apartments, offices or shops.

Here at Villa Mexico, Dia de Muertos is one of our favorite holidays. We love to spend the day thinking of the several loved ones who have already parted with us and the wonderful memories we share. For years now we set up the altar, sell the traditional sweet bread of the day "pan de muertos," make sugar skulls for kids to decorate and, when requested, give talks for school groups. It is a beautiful way to share our Mexican history and traditions!

Now that we have a new home here in Boston, the tradition continues and we want you to come back to celebrate with us. Join us then on October 29, Saturday, to try the "pan de muertos" and Mexican hot chocolate, decorate a sugar skull with your little ones and learn!

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You can also enjoy on the actual day of the holiday, November 1 and 2, with traditional sweet bread.

Make your order per piece, by October 25 please, with a call (617-957-0725) or email (villamexicocafe@gmail.com). Pickups will be available on: October 28 and 31, November 1 and 2.