Day of the Dead, Bronco and the "Calaverita"

In México we like to celebrate our dead loved ones. We don't see death as the end and we like to remember them with love. We make offerings with our loved ones favorite food and drinks.

Yesterday was “Día de Muertos” in Mexico. It’s becoming increasingly popular at the international level, almost competing with halloween.

Halloween’s “trick or treating” might’ve been fun in the past, but this year, apparently we all have to adapt to “trunk or treating”. It’s either we dress up in costumes, get in the car and get candy in the trunks of our cars, or nothing.

COVID-19 has changed traditions, celebrations and transformed any massive social gatherings.

You might laugh if you are mexican, because while I was thinking about how to celebrate this year’s Day of the Dead, I couldn’t help but to start singing Bronco’s famous song: “May No Traces Be Left”

Please listen to the beginning as you go through the lyrics, I can’t promise you will understand why this became an international hit but it’s worth a shot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb08WzdP7F0

 

This song I sing my friends

Is another one of pain

If you see me crying my friends

Forgive me please

 

I have in my soul sorrow and tears

That I can't contain

And it's because I love her so so much

But I had to loose

 

And now I have to forget her as well

And tear her from my soul and being

And from that love that burns my skin

May there be nothing left

 

May there be no footprint please no

May there be no footprint

Because I'm sure that you, my love

Don't remember me anymore 

This is exactly how I feel we are dealing with the present situation. Instead of going through pain and suffering and dealing with our feelings, we might as well leave no traces behind.

There’s no time to waste. There’s no need. We might just pretend the past never happened.

For the commemoration of the Day of the Dead, we’re not allowed to go to Pantheons anymore and offer our ancestors food, a prayer or a moment to coexist amongst the living and the dead.

It’s funny because for us, the dead souls come back on this day to rejoice with the living and honour our past. Death does not represent losing someone or an eternal absence. Tombs are decorated with cempasúchil flowers and lighted candles to guide the way of your loved ones, originally from your home to the pantheon.

 Instead, Mexico has declared three national days of “national mourning” due to the increasing numbers of deaths due to COVID-19. This is the new reality. So the new way of celebrating will be from our homes,  brought to you live on TV.

“May there be no footprint”

 Well, except for one other tradition which hopefully will continue and does not include social gatherings: writing the “calaverita”.

As creative as can be, we write our own poetic version of how to laugh at our own deaths, including those of celebrities, politicians and even narcos.

I leave you with one a friend wrote to me which includes the carbon footprint. I thought it was funny and an appropriate concern added to the COVID-19 crisis:

Calaverita by Eduardo Cordova

There was the skinny bony one really hyped up

for the big party she had planned.

At the table there was bread, tamales and atole,

But her bones were shaking savouring tequila and mole.

The catrín was smoking and driving,

without thinking about the carbon footprint he was leaving.

“You shouldn't be unaware” her loving wife told him

“Don't you see your recklessness is gonna bring us into caos".

 

Here are some resources if you want to connect to some events this year:

Día de Muertos, tradición mexicana que trasciende en el tiempo

https://www.gob.mx/inafed/es/articulos/dia-de-muertos-tradicion-mexicana-que-trasciende-en-el-tiempo?idiom=es

Mega Offering UNAM

www.megaofrenda.unam.mx

Mexico Oficial Decree - 3 days of National Mourning

https://dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5603785&fecha=29/10/2020#:~:text=ART%C3%8DCULO%20PRIMERO.%2D%20Se%20declara%20duelo,del%20D%C3%ADa%20de%20Muertos%20en

Virtual offerings: the new way to celebrate Day of the Dead

https://www.infobae.com/america/mexico/2020/10/31/ofrendas-virtuales-la-nueva-modalidad-para-festejar-el-dia-de-muertos/

Monica Lafon is a freelance writer. She got her BA degree in Journalism and Political Science at Concordia University and her Master’s degree in Environmental Policy at Sciences Po Paris.

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Day of the Dead, Bronco and the "Calaverita"

In México we like to celebrate our dead loved ones. We don't see death as the end and we like to remember them with love. We make offerings with our loved ones favorite food and drinks.