The Day of the Dead in Ecuador
If you travel to Ecuador at this time of year, you will have the chance to enjoy one of the most traditional feast days of the year. While other countries decorate their homes with pumpkins and celebrate Halloween, Ecuador has their own tradition, a typical festivity in Latin America. It is related with death too, but they don’t dress up as witches.Find out more about this particular Ecuadorian tradition!
All Saints’ Day is a christian tradition and It is celebrated on November 1st. On November 2nd it is All Soul’s Day.As a result of the combination between the Catholic celebration and an ancestral indigenous ritual, Ecuador celebrates these days the Feast of the Dead. It is not an exclusive Ecuadorian celebration, but the celebration has its own peculiarities in this country.
On November 2nd, Ecuadorian tradition consists on bringing flowers and typical traditional food to the cemeteries, so they can share a moment with their beloved ones that have passed away. For the indigenous tradition, the Day of the Dead represented an opportunity to connect with the deceased, with the family ancestors. Aztecs, Mayans, Purepecha, Nahua and Totonac were some of the indigenous communities that used to do these rituals for thousands of years.
The tradition has been kept, or at least part of it, visiting the graves and making a family celebration in cemeteries. Dresses and decoration are based on purple shades, as it represents a mourning color. The traditional belief says that the deads´souls return for the traditional feast, so they celebrated it with flowers and a typical food.
Typical food during the Day of the Dead
The food is also an important part of the celebration, Ecuadorians traditionally prepare for these days the favorite dishes of the deceased.
- Guaguas bread (also called dolls of bread)
They are a typical sweet treat of the Feast of the Dead that is normally prepared with all the family. They consist on cutefigures, that often have shapes of babies, because in fact “guaguas” means “baby” in Quichua. Some rural areas continue the old tradition, and prepare guaguas bread as offerings in a ritual that involves a reunion with the ancestors.
- Colada morada
It is a beverage that Ecuadorians take in the Day of the Dead accompanied with guaguas bread. It is a syrupy drink that is prepared with black corn flour, fruits and sweet herbs. The main fruits that are used to prepare this special drink are pineapple, raspberries and blackberries.
In some regions of the country, they also carry to their cemeteries some weapons, jewels and other valuable items. If you want to be part of these celebrations, you can visit some cemeteries, or one of the fairs that open in some streets, like the fair of crafts that takes place in Ambato.
So, enjoy Ecuador those days with one of the most typical traditions of this country. Don’t miss out this unique opportunity to know the hearth Ecuadorian culture!
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