A Picnic in the…Cementery?
AgentImage | November 2, 2018
How Ecuador celebrates Dia de los Dfuntos
Day of the dead or “Día de los Muertos” is celebrated on November 2nd by many cultures around the world and Ecuador is no exception. However, Day of the Dead here in Ecuador is looks a little different than it does in other parts, and the holiday comes with its own unique customs and traditions.
In Ecuador this day is not referred to as Dia de los Muertos but rather Día de los Difuntos “Day of the Deceased.” It is traditionally a Catholic holiday but in Ecuador, it also incorporates a great amount of indigenous traditions as well. It is a day for people to visit their deceased relatives in the cemeteries and honor those whom have passed.
More Indigenous families spend the entire day in the cemeteries, often times preparing a meal there, while the children run and play and the elders recall old times. Other more Catholic families simply visit the tombs and leave flowers, wreaths, photos, stuffed animals, toys and other trinkets as gifts to the departed.
During this day, Colada Morada and Guaguas de Pan are very popular and you will see them being eaten and sold in shops around all cities. Colada Morada is a sweet purple corn or oat drink made with mashed berries, spices, and served hot. It is accompanied by Guaguas de Pan which is bread, shaped and decorated as babies (Guaguas translates to baby in Quechua). Why babies? I personally have yet to find out.
The holiday is celebrated over 2 days here with November 1st being “All Saint’s Day.” This day is used to prepare food and gifts that will be brought to the cemeteries. November 3rd is also Cuenca’s Independence so all together; this holiday makes the 2nd largest holiday weekend next to Carnaval. It is always so intriguing to learn about new cultures and customs and that is something we love about Ecuador. Come visit and see for yourself! Viva Los Muertos!