Western culture has named October 31 as Halloween Day, but in the northern Belize Mestizo/Mayan culture, that day is part of a different type of celebration in which the dearly departed are remembered. To highlight that aspect of Mayan tradition, this weekend the House of Culture in Corozal will be holding “Hanal Pixan” an event which will focus on the foods that become a sacred link between the living and the dead during the traditional ceremonies held from October 31st to November 2nd. Because we know you would find it interesting, we spoke to the House of Culture administrator, Debra Wilkes, to find out more.
Debra Wilkes - Curator, Corozal House of Culture
“What we’re doing is on Saturday night we are bringing in out to the community, we are showcasing Hanal Pixan with alters, organizations and persons in the community will be setting alters and we will also have a community alter set up for anyone in the community who wants to come out and be a part of the community, you can honor your early departed by simply bringing a picture and perhaps a candle or maybe a food item, Hanal Pixan translates to food for the soul so this year’s events besides alters we are focusing on Maya Food authentic Maya cuisine so out there we will have a variety of dishes such as pipian, pork pipil, tamal de Chaya, tamal de frijol verde and we will have some Mayan beverages as well, all of these times will be a dollar so that it is affordable for everyone to come out and sample out whatever they would like for a dollar and these are being organize through members of Xaibe village so we are working along with them as well we have a Mayan group in Patchakan Village that will be out there to explain the living tradition of Hanal Pixan and then we will have Mayan Mestizos performances as well so we are looking forward to showcasing this, bringing through light the Mayan culture through food and through honoring the dearly departed so we invite the community to come on out and enjoy whether you want to take part or you just want to come out and check out the food and see the alters, the last time we had a couple of educational institutions with alters and some private persons as well so we hope to continue to grow this event.”
The event will start at 7:00pm on Saturday October 29TH, and it will be a sneak peek into what happens on the three days on which the Mayan culture honors the dead.
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