The Latin Ballet of Virginia presents El Dia de los Muertos
Malinalli, La Llorona (The Weeping Woman): Legend tells that Mallinali, “La Llorona,” was a Native princess from the Aztec empire who suffered the terrible condition of slavery during the Spanish conquest. She was the slave, translator and lover of Hernán Cortés, the cruel conquistador of Mexico.
The historical figure of Malinalli has been intermixed with Aztec legends (such as La Llorona, the woman who weeps for her lost children). She is considered “The First Mother of Mexico” and the quintessential victim from the Conquest of the New World.
La Flor Cempasúchil (The Marigold flower)
Markets are filled with cempasúchil flowers, the orange marigold wild flower that the Aztecs used to remember their dead. Its color represents the tones of earth, and it is used to guide souls and little angels to their homes and altars.
El Altar (The Altar)
Festive altars are built in homes to honor the deceased. The altars are beautifully decorated tables containing photographs of beloved relatives, papel picado (decorative paper cuttings), candles, sugar skulls and marigolds. Plates of favorite foods, toys and sweets for little angels and departed loved-ones are the ofrendas (offerings) placed upon the altar.
Las Catrinas Tambien Bailan (Las Catrinas Can Dance Too)
“According to Mexican Folklore, ‘La Catrina’ —also known as death— can show herself in many different ways. Sometimes she is dressed in a rather elaborate, festive way. Sometimes she appears before us in ‘bare bones,’ to take us away when we least expect it.