Sugar Skulls, tamales, and spirits (yes, the alcoholic kind) are things that you may find on homemade alters to entice those who have passed to the other side back for a visit. The altars, built in the homes and around tombstones, are for Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, a tradition originating in central Mexico on November 1 and 2.
Some 3,000 years ago, the Aztecs developed this ritual because the Aztec’s believed that one should not grieve the loss of a cherished ancestor who passed. Instead, the Aztecs wanted to celebrate their lives and welcome the return of their spirits to the land of the living once a year. That is why they celebrate with food, drink, and music.
During this celebration mourning is not allowed because it was believed the tears would make the spirit’s path treacherous and slippery. Day of the dead is a joyful occasion that allows everyone in a family, dead and alive, to gather together and celebrate the lives of their ancestors.
While Day of the Dead is mostly celebrated in Mexico, it is also an important holiday in Peru and neighboring Bolivia. In Peru and Bolivia families from across Peru congregate in the graveyard in Lima to connect with their ancestors, and many even spend the night there.
In Peru and Bolivia, friends and families decorate the altars of their ancestors with items that are meaningful to their ancestors. They pride themselves on honoring their ancestors and calling upon ancient customs from the Andean people and the magic of Amazonian’s.
We may not celebrate Day of the Dead in the United States, but we can still support Peru and Bolivia traditions by purchasing fair trade items that will allow them to celebrate their ancestors and provide for their friends and family. We can do so by purchasing decorations for Halloween, a holiday that we celebrate in the United States, that brings families together. Every year friends and families come together to carve pumpkins, trick or treat, decorate the house, or attend parties during Halloween.
Spread a little extra holiday cheer this Halloween and purchase Fair Trade handcrafted gourds for your Halloween decorations while helping to bring a sustainable income to more than 20 artisans and their families.
About the Artisans
Tito Medina and his family run a company that exports hand crafted gourd ornaments, masks, and musical instruments. His company is located in Peru and his company allows artisans to be employed and receive consistent work and a stable income. This provides stability for their families and allows their talent to be seen all over the world. To learn more information click here
All gourds and Halloween decorations are handmade by artisans in Peru and Bolivia. Let’s help support the artisans and their families and communities to follow their dreams and continue their lifelong traditions. These gourds are truly a piece of art that can make any Halloween decor unique and traditional.