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Dia De Los Muertos

Dia De Los Muertos Description

Dia De Los Muertos: On the Day of the Dead, a traditional Mexican festivity, little Nina goes to visit her mother’s grave, initiating a magical journey int a colorful and festive afterlife.

At last there’s a chill in the air, the leaves are exploding in a riot of color, and Día de Muertos is upon us once again. For your average American, that might mean donning some questionable calavera face paint and getting “totally smashed” on Coronas and tequila shots, but one charming short film from students at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida goes much deeper into the cultural significance of this ancient tradition.

The result is so convincing and downright heartwarming that Día de los Muertos picked up a Student Academy Award for its three co-directors Ashley Graham, Kate Reynolds, and Lindsey St. Pierre back in 2013.

The three-minute short finds a precious young girl from the Mexican countryside placing a flower at the grave of her deceased mother, only to be pulled into a colorful underworld populated by festive skeletons. Drawing on the colors and vibrant imagery of Día de Muertos, Graham, Reynolds, and St. Pierre show us the joy of traditions like pan de muerto, piñatas, and la flor de cempasúchil, before treating us to an emotive reunion that goes to the true essence of the holiday: taking a moment to remember our loved ones past, and helping them on their journey through the spirit world.

Whether or not the three directors have any direct personal connection to Mexico or Día de Muertos, they surely nailed the deeper cultural resonance of the holiday. All in all, Día de los Muertos is a beautifully animated and emotionally impactful reminder of what holidays were like before consumer culture became our national religion.

Dia De Los Muertos

The Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and helping support their spiritual journey. In Mexican culture, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle. Mexicans view it not as a day of sadness but as a day of celebration because their loved ones awaken and celebrate with them. In 2008, the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

The holiday is sometimes called Día de los Muertos in Anglophone countries, a back-translation of its original Mexican name, Día de Muertos. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a public holiday. Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer. Gradually, it was associated with October 31, November 1, and November 2 to coincide with the Western Christian triduum of Allhallowtide: All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day.

Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using calaveras, aztec marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. It has become a national symbol and as such is taught (for educational purposes) in the nation’s schools. Many families celebrate a traditional “All Saints’ Day” associated with the Catholic Church.

Originally, the Day of the Dead as such was not celebrated in northern Mexico, where it was unknown until the 20th century because its indigenous people had different traditions. The people and the church rejected it as a day related to syncretizing pagan elements with Catholic Christianity. They held the traditional “All Saints’ Day” in the same way as other Christians in the world.

There was limited Mesoamerican influence in this region, and relatively few indigenous inhabitants from the regions of Southern Mexico, where the holiday was celebrated. In the early 21st century in northern Mexico, Día de Muertos is observed because the Mexican government made it a national holiday based on educational policies from the 1960s; it has introduced this holiday as a unifying national tradition based on indigenous traditions.

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About Dia De Los Muertos

Genre Animation, Short, Family, Fantasy
Directed By Ashley Graham, Kate Reynolds, Lindsey St. Pierre
Written by Ashley Graham, Kate Reynolds, Lindsey St. Pierre
Music Corey Wallace
Release Date April 2013
Runtime 3:07
Starring Luisa D'Orey
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