I’ve written about what the Day of the Dead means for us Mexicans, but this time I will share another point of view. Meet Clarita Mannion and how she embraced the Day of the Dead, from the outside in.

Thinking Through My Fingers

“A civilisation that denies death ends by denying life.”

-Octavio Paz.

They say you only truly die when your name is spoken for the last time. Nowhere is this more true than in Mexico, where Día de Muertos – or Day of the Dead – takes remembering lost loved ones to a whole new level.

At first glance, this national holiday may pass for a Mexican version of Halloween, with its spooky skeletons and sweet treats. But while modern Halloween exists purely to peddle pumpkins and face paint, Día de Muertos is a bittersweet reflection on love, loss and life well lived.

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According to Mexican tradition, 2nd November is the one day when souls can leave the afterlife. To help guide lost loved ones back to earth, families build elaborate altars in homes and graveyards. These offerings are draped with flower garlands and colourful crêpe paper, and hung with corn…

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