The day you understand the meaning of death, it is the day you begin living.
In Mexico, we don’t grieve death. On the contrary, we dance and sing to death.
Day of the Death is the most alive day in Mexico.
Day of the Death is the most Mexican day of all. I dare to say that even before celebrating the Independence or the Revolution; we celebrate death. No speeches are made, no public celebration is being held.
Day of the Death is when the Mexican laughs and mocks death. It is the day when you stare in its eyes and share a drink from a bottle of tequila or mezcal.
Cementeries in Patzcuaro, Michoacán are filled with Cempatzuchitl flowers while candles light up the spaces between graves. These spaces are then filled with light that shows the dead the way to come back to their homes and share food and drinks that they enjoyed the most with their loved ones who are paying their annual visit.
Women, men, boys and girls stay awake on the night of November 1st and the morning of November 2nd. They stay close to their family’s graves waiting to see them one more time or remembering them through their most loved memories.
The children then run and stroll around through crosses and crowns asking for a treat or a coin for their calabacita (“little pumpkin”).
I have come to the conclusion that the day you understand the meaning of death, it is the day you begin living.
That same day is the day you understand how important every action is; how your story will be told to the ones that come after you, and what legacy you will leave behind.
Life in Mexico is marked by two out of three falls. No time limit.
El Santo, Blue Demon, El Cavernario Galindo have existed before Mexican wrestling became a marketing success. They existed before the WWE and its big stars like John Cena, Hulk Hogan and The Rock. The Mexican Lucha Libre (MLL) existed before these were internationally famous. You could see them at different arenas across the country.
Many childhood memories start with my grandmother. She and MLL had a special connection. She religiously sat in front of the TV to tune the MLL on Saturday afternoons. She would watch how men would fight each other for their mask, their hair, and their honor. The bloodthirsty audience would yell with them for victory. The same thing happened years ago at the Roman Coliseum. Story repeated itself at the heart of Mexico.
The Lucha Libre is a part of Mexican culture. It is part of our essence, the eternal battle between good and evil. Families would pick their side “Rudos Vs. Tecnicos”; women and men of all sizes and ages would wear the mask of their favorite wrestler.
It is incredible to still see how people change when they put that mask on. They turn into street super heroes that sweat, bleed, who win or lose.
In order to understand Mexican people; you must know its culture and traditions. Its culture can be understood by observing its origins and the feelings attached to those origins.
The MLL is a tradition that makes Mexicans into warriors; where the fight frees them from their fears and pressures. The Lucha Libre elevates their souls to their ancestors and makes Mexican connect with its roots in a spiritual level.