November 2, because today is the day of the dead

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It is not a party by law like the first of November, November 2 is the day on which the church remembers all the dead. It is not a public holiday, but in some regions there are closed schools. In Italy there are traditional foods (40 different biscuits in Sicily alone) for the day of the dead, in Central America there are big parties as the Disney cartoon taught us Coco.

The Catholic Church remembers all the dead on November 2. The cemeteries have extended opening hours and dedicated initiatives. In the Lombard capital, the new illustrious dead included in the Famedio are honored. Pope Francis celebrates mass at 11 at the French military cemetery.

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The dead were already celebrated in the Middle Ages. The day chosen was the Sunday two weeks before the beginning of Lent, therefore between January and February. According to the Latin church, the current rite comes from the choice of a Benedictine abbot of Cluny. In 998 he made the funeral bells ring after Vespers on November 1st and the following day he offered the Eucharist for the rest of all the dead. This celebration in the fourteenth century became of the whole Catholic Church.

It is tradition, at this time of the year, to bring flowers to the graves of the dead. The flower of the dead is the chrysanthemum according to the Italian tradition. The choice comes from the fact that these flowers bloom in this period.

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The name means golden flower. It was already cultivated in China five centuries before Christ, while in Europe it spread at the end of the 1700s in France, Italy and England. In Japan it is a national flower and is used for weddings. In many countries it is the symbol of life, fortitude and peace.

In various parts of Italy there are sweets related to the festivities of the dead. They are usually desserts that are simple in ingredients and preparation. Especially biscuits that resemble the shape of bones or fingers. They are placed on tables set on the night between 1 and 2 November for the dead who return to visit relatives. They have different names from fave dei morti, in Piedmontese bones d’mort, especially in the south there is the fruit of Martorana, similar to marzipan, with the shape of fruit and more.

In addition to flowers, in many Central American countries, graves are decorated with objects, toys for children, but also alcohol. In Guatemala there is the ceremony of building a huge kite at the cemetery. Making it fly is a good omen for those who have left this land. In Mexico, altars for the dead are also prepared at home because tradition has it that the dead return to find those who are still alive. The party, The day of the Dead, which is an intangible heritage of humanity, has a cheerful side as he says Coco, Disney’s 2018 Oscar-winning animated film. It can be seen in the colors and the way of exorcising death that is called Catrina and dresses like an elegant woman of the nineteenth century. Already for the pre-Columbian civilizations the idea of ​​death was linked to the concept of rebirth and the Aztec calendar celebrated them at the end of August. In addition to the flowers, photos, liqueurs and cigarettes are brought to the tombs. There are also those who sleep in the cemetery. The typical sweets are calaveras, small colored sugar skulls. You can also have it with your name on it.

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