Mayan Style Halloween
Hola Hoppers! In these crazy days of this crazy year of 2020, we at Cozumel Bar Hop thought that we would write some content that could be interesting for you. Here's A little about our Mexican traditions like..
"Dia de Muertos"
In Mexico, we have different ways to honor our heritage. Each State has its own traditions, and since Cozumel Island is located in the State of Quintana Roo, we have to talk about the traditional “Hanan Pixán”, the Mayan celebration. It means “soul food” in Mayan language, and it is celebrated in most towns and cities in the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s purpose is to remember dead people in a colorful and tasty food celebration. Mayans believe that during these days, the dead souls come back to share meals with people on Earth. It is also the only Mayan ritual that we keep celebrating each year.
One party day is OK, but Hanal Pixán lasts three!
Everything begins on October 31st. We honor children’s souls in a ceremony called “U Habal Palal”. November 1st is the day of the dead for adults and we call it “U Hanal Nucuch Uninicoob”. The third day is to honor the Whole Saints Day and we call it “U Hanal Pixanoob” or “Misa Pixan”, because we have a special ceremony for their souls, usually held at the cemetery. A traditional meal is the PIB, which is the ancient meal that we offer to the dead souls, and it is the main course of this celebration.
It is a giant “tamal” buried with firewood in the old Mayan style, or in a firewood oven. This results in a crispy outside cover and a well cooked filling. It is filled with pork and chicken with a spicy sauce and it is covered by banana leaves. Houses, shops, and schools lay altars as a tradition. You can find meals, drinks, and candies that dead people used to like, as well as their pictures. A respectful altar must have a green cross that represents the “yaxché tree”, a traditional vase, candles, a glass of water and flowers.
The altars dedicated for children must be colored, and include toys. The ones dedicated to adults contain cigarettes and liquor like Xtabentun, Mezcal and Tequila! This tradition is usually surrounded by peculiar stuff. Children must wear a red or black ribbon in their right hand, to protect them from dead spirits taking them away. Another tradition is to keep pets at home, because they can see the spirits and impede them from arriving at the altar.
If you don’t get enough “PIB”, don’t worry! After nine days we celebrate the “ochovario” or “bix”, which according to old traditions is the right time to eat it. Fortunately, you will still find some during the rest of November.
This time is an excellent excuse to wear “guayabera” or “hipil”. It is marvelous how people use their traditional clothes. This is a great occasion to enjoy the whole family and talk about the remembrances of those who left before us. Hanal Pixan is a wonderful Mayan cosmology vestige and evidence of our half blood origin. Perhaps it is a Mayan celebration, but the costumes that surround it have changed along the years after the Spanish arrival. We adapted the antique traditions to their religious beliefs, such as painting our faces as “Catrinas”.
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