San Pedro House of Culture observes Dia de Los Finados

Monday, November 5th, 2018

Many residents of La Isla Bonita celebrated their dearly departed at the San Pedro House of Culture’s (SPHC) El Dia de Los Finandos celebration (Day of the Dead) on Friday, November 2nd.

This tradition is practiced annually among the Mestizo, Maya and Garifuna cultures in Belize. It is also a tradition in many Latin American countries.

A large crowd gathered to observe the celebration and Director of the SPHC Mito Paz welcomed them warmly, explaining the importance of El Dia de Los Finados.

“El Dia de los Finados is a tradition of our people. In Pre-Hispanic times, the dead were buried close to family homes and there was great emphasis on maintaining ties with deceased ancestors, who were believed to continue to exist in a different place,” said Paz. He further stated that prior to the arrival of the Spanish, the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America honored the dead and made peace with the celebration. “It is very important for us to keep these traditions alive in order to never forget our loved ones,” he added.

After Paz’ welcoming speech, some attendees read several rosaries and sang Catholic hymns with the audience. The exhibit was then opened for viewing, the altars adorned beautifully with religious amulets, and laden with food offerings.

The foods chosen are generally those that the deceased enjoyed during their life. The exhibit displayed framed photos of loved ones that have passed on, and families observed each one and shared stories about their departed loved ones. There were seven different altars on display, representing the Maya Hanal Pixan, Garinagu, Aztecs, Los Angelitos (little Souls), La Anima Sola (The Forsaken Soul), and the Christian Altar.

Afterwards, the attendees got to enjoy some staple foods being offered, including Tamalitos de Chaya. The SPHC takes this opportunity to thank all those who sponsored and assisted in making the event possible.

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