With cempasuchils, bread, mole, and chocolate, Oaxaca welcomes the souls that return for Day of the Dead


Oaxaca and its eight regions are preparing to receive the souls of loved ones with mole, bread, chocolate, fruits, mezcal, marigolds, incense, and candles that illuminate the way forward

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The aromas and the characteristic wind that makes us feel that the souls of loved ones are approaching; Oaxaca and its eight regions are preparing to receive them with mole, bread, chocolate, fruits, mezcal, marigold flower, incense and candles that illuminate the way forward with their light, surrounded by emotional songs like La llorona.

The Day of the Dead is a celebration in which the whole family participates, previously they buy the ingredients for the preparation of recipes such as black mole; the traditional cook Catalina Lucas integrates ingredients such as black chilhuacle chili, chocolate, sesame, almonds, cinnamon, and tomatoes that she toasts one by one on her clay comal and then takes them to the mill.

“It is a recipe full of emotions, a ritual dish that welcomes our deceased because in Oaxaca one is born and dies with a good mole,” says Catalina, from the Mo-Kalli restaurant in Tlacolula de Matamoros, where it is served. with turkey or chicken, accompanied with mezcal, a drink that is also present during these dates.


Photos: @caminitoalcielomx

The bread of the dead is one of the most representative elements; the preparations include egg yolk bread, bun, or with the figure of an animal, it all depends on the region where it is enjoyed. In Central Valleys, for example, we find carita bread; on the Isthmus the marquesote decorated with bitumen and the name of the deceased; in Mixteca pieces that are prepared with the base dough of the bolillo in the shape of humans or animals.

In San Pablo Villa de Mitla they prepare ordinary bread, a recipe that does not include eggs, it is decorated with a thick dough of water and flour, ink used to outline frets, flowers and ears of corn. In the time of the caciques, the yolk bread was introduced, which is decorated with a bitumen based on eggs, sugar and lemon, explains Rodrigo Hernández, a member of a family of artisans that spreads and preserves the traditions of the community.

The bread is baked in stone ovens that are heated with wood, which provides a very special flavor; Various members of the family participate in the Carmy bakery and some children show their skill by decorating the pieces with flowers, landscapes or frets. The offerings also include seasonal fruits such as mandarins, pears, jicamas and oranges.


Photos: @caminitoalcielomx

The altars are ready on the first of November to receive the souls of the children, on the second the souls of the older deceased arrive; everyone is entertained with the dishes and drinks that they enjoyed in life. “In the afternoon of November 2, the run of the dead begins to show souls the way back,” explains Juana Amaya, a traditional cook from Zimatlán de Álvarez, who cooks black mole with dried chili peppers, spices and plantain, in addition to mole coloradito, tamales and corn tortillas to delight the deceased and visitors to Mi tierra linda.

Oaxaca se prepara para recibir a los fieles difuntos | Diario Marca

The Day of the Dead is one of the most anticipated festivities in Oaxaca; bread, mole, fruits, drinks, cempasuchil, and photographs star in large altars with which souls are received, a tradition that has been preserved in homes since ancient times. 

Chocolate is an important element, Carina Santiago, a traditional cook from Teotitlán del Valle, prepares it in an artisan way, a process that begins with the selection and roasting of the cocoa that is ground in metate along with almonds, cinnamon and a little sugar.


Photos: @caminitoalcielomx

“We receive the souls with chocolate, yolk bread, walnuts, peanuts, cane; On the first of November we prepare cornfield tamales and on the second, tamales with mole; It is a date that brings together families who are looking forward to their departed loved ones. Water is also placed on the altar and scented with incense ”adds Carina.

Oaxaca-México-Día de Muertos-Cementerio - Tino Soriano

The aroma of the marigold flower guides the dead to the delights of the altars; Oaxaca is one of the ten states with the highest production of this element that stains the season orange and mysticism, reported the Office of Social Communication and Spokesperson of the Government of the State of Oaxaca. The altars and doors of the homes show petals or arches decorated with this flower that since ancient times represents a symbol of life and death.

Photos: @caminitoalcielomx

November begins with 3 deaths from Covid in Oaxaca

November 1, 2021.- The Health Services reported 3 deaths from Covid in Oaxaca this first day of November to reach a cumulative of 5,465 so far in the pandemic.

In the daily report, they also indicated that 52 were infected, affecting 12 municipalities, which currently have 350 people with the virus active.

They highlighted that Oaxaca de Juárez was the municipality with the highest number of new infections, reporting 21, followed by Zaachila with 15; the other municipalities reported 3 or fewer infections.

By Health Jurisdiction, Valles Centrales 1 continues with the highest number of accumulated infections, reporting 49,554, followed by 2 Isthmus with 11,644 and 5 Mixteca with 6,266.

Since the beginning of the health emergency in Oaxaca, 81,567 confirmed infections have occurred, of which 75,752 have been recovered and there are currently 5,901 people as suspects.

The Health authorities reiterated the call for them to continue applying preventive measures such as staying home if possible, permanently wearing face masks if going out on the street, washing hands frequently with soap and water as well as keeping a healthy distance in Public spaces.

The Oaxaca Post