Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Party Like You're in Mexico
Image from tottenhamploughmans.wordpress.com
While everywhere else is celebrating Halloween, the Tottenham Ploughman has decided to respect another culture's traditions this year, with a celebration of the Mexican Day of the Dead.
The two holidays are actually intrinsically connected, but the modern commercialisation of Halloween makes the relationship between the two a bit blurry.
All Hallows Eve has its origins in the Celtic harvest festival, but has since become a day of dressing up in scary costumes and begging for sweets. The next two days, Hallowmas and All Soul's Day retain more of the traditional values about communication with God and commemorating the dead, but tend not to be practiced that much. You can, however, see how it bares similarity to the still very much celebrate Mexican Day of the Dead, which lasts over three days. On the 31st October, they invite the spirits of children, on the 1st November, they invite the spirits of adults, and on 2nd November, they visit the graves of loved ones and leave gifts. Popular symbols featuring through the festival include marigolds, sugar skulls, fruit and nuts, and other food and decorations.
So how exactly are the Tottenham Ploughman going to celebrate the Day of the Dead? On the 2nd November will be putting up an upcycled Mexican style shrine created by local artists and florists. Visitors are invited to bring photographs of their loved ones and hang a written dedication to the shrine.
There will be suitably dressed life art drawing classes for all ages and a drum and mask making workshop at two o'clock.This will be followed by a drum parade at 4pm, and as evening sets in you can watch a shadow puppet show.
Lots of local business will be preparing tasty food such as quesadillas, empanadas, cinnamon buns, sausages, baked potatoes, cheese, pizza, and Pan de Muerto (sweet rolls). For afters have a piece of parkin, sip hot chocolate, cocktails, and ice your very own sugar skull biscuits.
Don't forget to bring any unwanted bright coloured clothes for the costume box. Everyone will be able to dive in and get dressed up for the occasion. Any leftover clothes will be taken to a charity shop afterwards.