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The day the dead come home

One of the most deep-rooted beliefs of the Jujian people is to honor the Saints and Faithful Dead. We invite you to discover more about this amazing celebration.

Día de los Santos y Fieles Difuntos

According to  beliefs and  traditions ,  during the first days of November the souls of those who died return to their homes, to the houses they lived in their terrestrial stay. For this reason , their relatives await them with joy and joy to entertain them with food, offerings and evoking their memory . For the waiting, an altar is prepared where the banquet will be served with the favorite dishes of the deceased. This is the way in which a link is established between the living and the dead.  A  tradition  of the Jujian people  to remember those souls and revalue their beliefs about death and its meaning.

The  Day of Saints and Faithful Dead  is celebrated in the province of Jujuy from November 1 to November 2. It is a more entrenched celebration, in which the memory of those who are no longer present is honored. Tradition tells us that, on this date,  the deceased go down to earth to visit their relatives and loved ones , who receive them with the things they enjoyed in life.

Preparations begin when  the family reunites to assemble the altars.  The photographs of the deceased are placed there and the table is decorated with candles and incenses along with a glass of holy water. Different types of meals and drinks are made on the best tablecloth available. A particular feature of this celebration is the preparation  of bread offerings  with different forms representing what the dead man loved. These should be prepared one day in advance.

Usually, the ritual begins with prolonged prayers and talks between family and friends, which extend until dawn and allow everyone to stay awake, while circulating rates of coffee, glasses with boiled wine, chicha or other drinks. When the new day comes, before retiring, a comfortable portion of food is served among those present.

On November 2,  in the morning, relatives come to the cemetery to visit the dead.  There you pray, take natural flowers and wreaths made especially with paper. These give the cemetery a festive character  due to the colour that adorns the graves and the activity that awakens the arrival of souls.

Then, they return to the homes where the offerings were made to distribute part of the offerings and the rest are burned in the fathoms so that the smoke rises with the deceased and thus takes a supply of food on their return to the other world. Tradition marks us that souls will be allowed to visit their loved ones from November 1 at noon in order to  live with mortals for 24 hours.  On  2 noon they must return to their resting places.

A  celebration  that has an ancestral origin, mixed with  pre-Hispanic contributions and influences from the Catholic Church , and whose essence is also shared in countries such as Mexico and Bolivia, with some differences in their rituals. This tradition, so entrenched, is a way to commemorate those who were with us, and honor their memory through the footprint they left in their passage through this life.

Publication Date: 06/11/2020

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