This week in my spanish class we were assigned to present a fiesta and answer questions about the celebration. Our group chose, Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead.
Día de los Muertos, is a spanish holiday celebrated all over the world. Originating in Mexico, the origin of the festival can be traced back over 2500 years ago. During the Aztec times, this festival which was dedicated to goddess Michtecacihuatl, would last up to a month long. Today, the mexican culture shortened the span of the festival to only three days. Each day has a different significance for who it dedicates. On October 31st, Día de los Angelitos, deceased children are honored for their time on earth. The following day, Día de los Muertos, is used to honor the adults that have passed. Family members may sweep around the deceased’s grave site. The last day, All souls day, is celebrated by visiting the cemetery and decorating the relatives tombs with favorite foods and flowers.
Families believe in offering gifts to the dead will encourage the dead’s souls to hear the families’ prayers and help the living with problems they may have. One offering, The pan de muertos, is a sweet yeast bread decorated with skulls and bones. I decided the best way to really describe the dish was to make it and share it with the class.
Pan de Muertos
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup milk
- 1 envelope (1 tablespoon) active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon water
- 5 1/4 to 5 1/2 cups all- purpose flour
- sugar tablespoon
- red frosting
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring (use less if using gel)
- 3 Tablespoons milk
After cutting up the bread my hands were covered in “blood” and we all chowed down on our offering. Delicioso!
Al diablo la muerte, mientras la vida nos dure.
(To hell with death while we’re still alive.)