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Day of the Dead Hardcover – Aug 17 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith (Aug. 17 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423620526
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423620525
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 21 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #427,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Illuminate your Halloween, Read 'Day of the Dead' by Kitty Williams and Stevie Mack

Kitty Williams and Stevie Mack open their book Day of the Day (Gibbs Smith, September 2011) with this quote from 'The Labyrinth of Solitude' by Octavio Paz.

"To the inhabitant of New York, Paris, or London, death is a word that is never uttered because it burns the lips, the Mexican on the other hand, frequents it, mocks it, caresses it, sleeps with it, entertains it; it is one of his favorite playthings and his most enduring love."

Kitty an Stevie take us on a journey to discover the roots of the Day of the Dead, from street celebrations to offrandas, art and of course favorite dishes.

In their introduction they note that 'because the Day of the Dead is celebrated at roughly the same time of year as Halloween and the two share some common roots, Day of the Dead is sometimes referred to as the 'Mexican Halloween', However, the focus of the two holidays is quite different. With its emphasis on remembering and honoring the dead, Day of the Dead is in some ways more similar to the American observation of Memorial Day."

The authors recognize that there are regional nuances and that the holiday is especially important in Oaxaca and Michoacan.

We learn that most of the festivities take place between October 31 and November 2.

They highlight that 'according to the most common tradition, the souls of departed children (los angelitos, or the little angels) return to earth first, followed by the souls of adults."

An image found all over Mexico during Day of the Dead is 'Catrina' (below). It was created by Jose Posada who the authors write "used this common name as a double entendre: in Spanish, a catrin is a dandy, or fancy man, so catrina is the female equivalent."

The authors mention that "particularly in Oaxaca, intricate sand paintings are often created on the floor in front of the ofrendas."

I am not sure many couples outside Mexico would appreciate the following gift featured in Day of the Dead:

'The bridal couple is also a very popular theme. often presented as a gift to a newlywed couple, the skeletal bride and groom symbolize a love that will endure even after death."

DIY fans will enjoy guides like 'how to make and decorate sugar skulls' like the one below.

Kitty William and Stevie Mack conclude their book with traditional recipes including Pan de Muerto, the spicy chile and chocolate combination known as Mole Sauce and drinks like Cafe de la Olla (a sweet cinnamony coffee) and Atole, a corn based beverage with roots going back to the Aztecs. --Serge Lescouarnec"Serge the Concierge" (10/26/2011)

From the Back Cover

Day of the Dead is one of the most joyful times of the year--a celebration when families remember their dead. This book presents a colorful look at the traditions, folk art, and fascinating history of this unique holiday.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Colourful, vivid, informative descriptions....This book is great for anyone wanting to learn the ins and outs of this amazing Mexican festival!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great find
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9fc4f534) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fc670cc) out of 5 stars Beautiful Book Nov. 3 2011
By Tucson Jan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Living in Southern Arizona we have become very interested in the Day of The Dead events and history. This book is the most interesting and beautiful books we've ever seen on the topic! I highly recommend it!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fc67318) out of 5 stars Good coffee table book Aug. 31 2011
By Sam's Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book makes a great conversation piece with guests. I love the colorful photographs and it provides a good mixture of text and photos. I am looking forward to trying some of the recipes included.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fc672dc) out of 5 stars Highly recommended! Gives some history on the festival Oct. 25 2014
By Chris C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Highly recommended! Gives some history on the festival, explains the art & culture, how to set up an offering (ofrenda) alter, and even provides some popular recipies. I only wish the history behind the Day of the Dead festival was more extensive but this is a wonderful overview. 5 stars.
HASH(0x9fc675d0) out of 5 stars complete detailed information Feb. 9 2014
By Vivian Munoz-Halm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a Spanish teacher and I am not from Mexico, so I do not know much about the Day of the Dead. This book has everything anybody could ever want to know about this celebration. It was very helpful into my research and lesson planning.
HASH(0x9fc67630) out of 5 stars Excellent Information and Ideas April 14 2015
By Sande Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is everything I hoped it would be. I give my Cultural Psychology students an assignment to make personally representative shrines every semester and I was delighted to find a book with great pictures and ideas.