The Mexican Celebration of The Days of the Dead: Food for the Ancestors

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Each fall, Mexicans celebrate a weeklong holiday called Days of the Dead. The festival honors the memories of loved ones who have died. No celebration describes the Mexican culture as this one: sad, joyful, and satirical all at the same time. FOOD FOR THE ANCESTORS explores this fabulous festival as it is done in the culturally rich state of Puebla. Among the many things that we see during the week of Days of the Dead are Mask Dancing by the children of Cuetzalan and the spectacular Dance of the Volodores performed on a 60 foot pole; the indigenous village of San Miguel where waistlooms are sued to make beautiful fabrics, and potters use Prehispanic techniques; the fantastic Cholula Pyrabmid (the Americas' largest pyramid) surrounded by fields filled with the Marigolds, the ancient flowers of the dead; famous Pueblan artisans creating Days of the Dead skeleton and skull artwork, and cazuela makers. The program focuses on the special foods that are made for this time of the year: Sugar Skull candies; pulque; Bread of the Dead; and Mole Poblano. And viewers can share in eating the oldest Mexican "meat:" grasshoppers, ant eggs, mosquitoes and their eggs and beetle larvae.

FOOD FOR THE ANCESTORS and the holiday climaxes on the night of November 1st when family members decorate the gravesites and spend the entire night sitting at the gravesite waiting for the ancestors to return.

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