My name is Brenda, I’m Mexican, in Mexico we have a lot of traditions, each state has its own traditions full of what Mexico is.

I’m from Veracruz and here we have a tradition, that is to celebrate every first and second of November, its name is day of the dead. Its main purpose is to remember our own dear ones that are dead, make a party and celebrate with them.  This tradition is different in each state, in my state we call it Xantolo.

Xantolo is my favorite tradition because I love the food that we make, I love the scent of the flowers that we use for “the altar” and the happiness that we live in this time. Xantolo is the name of the dance that we have, this dance is about “the revival of our dead ones”, this dance in which we dress like the dead, not like zombies, is more Mexican. For example, a doctor, a nurse but obviously representing the dead.

In a comparsa there are dresses that can’t go missing;  the cowboy (is who guides the comparsa), the devil (is who wants to take all), the grim reaper (representing all that is dead) these dresses are the most important in the comparsa, there are others also that can’t be missing but these are optional and more than anything is the custom, for example, the groom, the bride, the drunk, the prostitute, the old man, the builder, the child, the pregnant etc. all the people that are in the comparsa have to carry a mask of wood, and other curious fact is that the women dress as men, and the men dress as women, this is what makes the dance fun.

The food of this time is very traditional in my town, Zacahuilt, Tamales, are really good, the altar must have the food, fruit, drinks, everything that the dead liked to eat. Also, it is decorated with flowers called “Cempasuchil” and is really pretty. It may sound strange, but really is a very beautiful tradition, I love it.

I invite you to come the next year…

Brenda Jimenez Valdez