This is pan de Dia del Muertos (Day of the Dead), or bread for the Day of the Dead, which is observed on November 2 this year. My friends at the best internet café I’ve eve patronized presented me with the bread Tuesday as I was leaving from my daily visit.
Dia del Muertos, I am told, is one of the, if not the, most important days in Mexico. The day is observed through the erection of alters in homes, churches, and elsewhere upon which are placed bread, food, flowers, drinks and other offerings to the dead. A path of flowers is often laid leading to the alter and incense burned to guide the spirits of the dead to the alter placed in their honor. The day is also observed with celebrations in cemeteries which include music and food.
The modern observance of the Dia del Muertos combines the pre-Hispanic tradition of honoring the dead through erection of alters and the provision of offerings with Christian symbols, most notably the cross. Alters typically contain elements intended to represent earth, wind, fire, and water, so contain crops, containers of water and other beverages, candles, and colorful tissue paper that moves in the breeze.
The alters and the offering placed therein are often tailored to a particular person. Alters dedicated to deceased children, for instance, may be festooned with offerings of toys, or tequila and cigarettes may be placed on alters dedicated to a person who during his life enjoyed such.
My friends at the internet café also provided me with a schedule of the events of the four days. Wednesday evening featured a display of paper mache art with a Dis del Muertos theme, as you can see in the pictures. There was also tango music; and, after I left there reportedly was dancing.
Saturday evening, as I understand there is each Saturday, there will be Fandango dancing, with which I am unfamiliar but understand is a synthesis of Spanish, African, and traditional dance that is unique to Veracruz.