Day of the Dead

( 1 )

Overview

Day of the Dead is one of the most joyful times of the year—a celebration when families remember their dead.
This book presents a colorful look at the traditions, folk art, and fascinating history of this unique holiday.

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Day of the Dead

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Overview

Day of the Dead is one of the most joyful times of the year—a celebration when families remember their dead.
This book presents a colorful look at the traditions, folk art, and fascinating history of this unique holiday.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Serge the Concierge

Illuminate your Halloween, Read 'Day of the Dead' by Kitty Williams and Stevie Mack

Kitty Williams and Stevie Mack open their book Day of the Day (Gibbs Smith, September 2011) with this quote from 'The Labyrinth of Solitude' by Octavio Paz.

"To the inhabitant of New York, Paris, or London, death is a word that is never uttered because it burns the lips, the Mexican on the other hand, frequents it, mocks it, caresses it, sleeps with it, entertains it; it is one of his favorite playthings and his most enduring love."

Kitty an Stevie take us on a journey to discover the roots of the Day of the Dead, from street celebrations to offrandas, art and of course favorite dishes.

In their introduction they note that 'because the Day of the Dead is celebrated at roughly the same time of year as Halloween and the two share some common roots, Day of the Dead is sometimes referred to as the 'Mexican Halloween', However, the focus of the two holidays is quite different. With its emphasis on remembering and honoring the dead, Day of the Dead is in some ways more similar to the American observation of Memorial Day."

The authors recognize that there are regional nuances and that the holiday is especially important in Oaxaca and Michoacan.

We learn that most of the festivities take place between October 31 and November 2.

They highlight that 'according to the most common tradition, the souls of departed children (los angelitos, or the little angels) return to earth first, followed by the souls of adults."

An image found all over Mexico during Day of the Dead is 'Catrina' (below). It was created by Jose Posada who the authors write "used this common name as a double entendre: in Spanish, a catrin is a dandy, or fancy man, so catrina is the female equivalent."

The authors mention that "particularly in Oaxaca, intricate sand paintings are often created on the floor in front of the ofrendas."

I am not sure many couples outside Mexico would appreciate the following gift featured in Day of the Dead:

'The bridal couple is also a very popular theme. often presented as a gift to a newlywed couple, the skeletal bride and groom symbolize a love that will endure even after death."

DIY fans will enjoy guides like 'how to make and decorate sugar skulls' like the one below.

Kitty William and Stevie Mack conclude their book with traditional recipes including Pan de Muerto, the spicy chile and chocolate combination known as Mole Sauce and drinks like Cafe de la Olla (a sweet cinnamony coffee) and Atole, a corn based beverage with roots going back to the Aztecs.

— Serge Lescouarnec

Serge the Concierge - Serge Lescouarnec

Illuminate your Halloween, Read 'Day of the Dead' by Kitty Williams and Stevie Mack

Kitty Williams and Stevie Mack open their book Day of the Day (Gibbs Smith, September 2011) with this quote from 'The Labyrinth of Solitude' by Octavio Paz.

"To the inhabitant of New York, Paris, or London, death is a word that is never uttered because it burns the lips, the Mexican on the other hand, frequents it, mocks it, caresses it, sleeps with it, entertains it; it is one of his favorite playthings and his most enduring love."

Kitty an Stevie take us on a journey to discover the roots of the Day of the Dead, from street celebrations to offrandas, art and of course favorite dishes.

In their introduction they note that 'because the Day of the Dead is celebrated at roughly the same time of year as Halloween and the two share some common roots, Day of the Dead is sometimes referred to as the 'Mexican Halloween', However, the focus of the two holidays is quite different. With its emphasis on remembering and honoring the dead, Day of the Dead is in some ways more similar to the American observation of Memorial Day."

The authors recognize that there are regional nuances and that the holiday is especially important in Oaxaca and Michoacan.

We learn that most of the festivities take place between October 31 and November 2.

They highlight that 'according to the most common tradition, the souls of departed children (los angelitos, or the little angels) return to earth first, followed by the souls of adults."

An image found all over Mexico during Day of the Dead is 'Catrina' (below). It was created by Jose Posada who the authors write "used this common name as a double entendre: in Spanish, a catrin is a dandy, or fancy man, so catrina is the female equivalent."

The authors mention that "particularly in Oaxaca, intricate sand paintings are often created on the floor in front of the ofrendas."

I am not sure many couples outside Mexico would appreciate the following gift featured in Day of the Dead:

'The bridal couple is also a very popular theme. often presented as a gift to a newlywed couple, the skeletal bride and groom symbolize a love that will endure even after death."

DIY fans will enjoy guides like 'how to make and decorate sugar skulls' like the one below.

Kitty William and Stevie Mack conclude their book with traditional recipes including Pan de Muerto, the spicy chile and chocolate combination known as Mole Sauce and drinks like Cafe de la Olla (a sweet cinnamony coffee) and Atole, a corn based beverage with roots going back to the Aztecs.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423620525
  • Publisher: Smith, Gibbs Publisher
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 944,737
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Kitty Williams and Stevie Mack have led Day of the Dead art and cultural tours in Mexico for many years. Through their company CRIZMAC Art & Cultural Education Materials, Inc., they produce award-winning curriculum resources for schools and institutions, including video programs such as Flickering Lights: Days of the Dead. They live in Tucson, Arizona.

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Read an Excerpt

Many elaborate preparations are required for the most important holiday of the year, the Day of the Dead. It may seem strange to those from other cultures that a festival dedicated to the dead should be a joyous occasion, but Day of the Dead is exactly that—it is a celebration of welcome for the spirits of the dead, who return each year for a 24-hour period to enjoy the pleasures they once knew in life. Combining reverence for the dead with revelry to make them happy, and even a certain mockery of death itself, Day of the Dead is a vibrant and colorful celebration of life. The holiday has also inspired a rich tradition of popular folk art featuring grinning skulls and dancing skeletons

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Table of Contents

8 INTRODUCTION

17 LIFE From Death: Origins

29 FEASTING and Revelry: celebrating with the spirits

71 GRINNING SKULLS and Dancing Skeletons: Folk Art

109 S avoring Tradition: Creating a Personal Celebration

128 Resources

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Brilliantly vibrant pictures combined with thorough research on

    Brilliantly vibrant pictures combined with thorough research on this cultural celebration.  The book turned out to be an ideal non-fiction shared reading text for my 5th grade class.  It provided them with an abundance of details to use in their follow up informational essays and it included interesting vocabulary words to discuss, such as reverence and revelry.  In addition, the topic is highly engaging and serves as a jumping off point to many other areas, including writing, math, social science, and art.  This book supports the Common Core State Standards objectives and is just the type of text I am looking for to use with my students.  I purchased both the electronic copy and the hard copy.  The electronic copy allowed me to easily display the text over my computer for shared reading and allows us to highlight text and add notes.  The hard copy is displayed in the classroom for students to reference when they are writing.  

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