El Dia de los Muertos is a day full of colorful decorations and food to celebrate those that have passed.
In Merida, Yucatan, the celebration is called Hanal Pixan. This is influenced by Mayan culture. Hanal Pixan lasts a total of three days. Yet, the same meal is consumed for each day.
On the first day, you celebrate the souls of the kids. On the second day, you celebrate the adults. And on the third day, you celebrate the lonely souls. The lonely souls refers to someone who has passed who is no longer remembered.
Born and raised in Merida, Diana Vega explains that the celebration is an important part of her culture.
Before Hanal Pixan, her and her family gather to make the traditional dish called el pib. El pib is a huge tamale that looks like a pie. They send it to a bakery because it doesn’t fit in a conventional oven. This dish is eaten during the three days of Hanal Pixan.
Once the cooking is done, the real celebrations begin.
“You eat the food, but leave some food for the dead. They eat the essence of the food,” Vega said.
When Hanal Pixan is over, everyone eats whatever is left.
I haven’t had the chance to visit Merida. But now I’m curious to eat a tamale that is the size of a pie. Leave a comment below if you’ve every tried a pib and what your thoughts were.