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Understanding the Day of the Dead

By Robin Loving

More than 500 years ago, when the Spanish Conquistadors landed in what is now central Mexico, they encountered natives practicing a ritual that seemed to mock death. It was a ritual the indigenous people had been practicing at least 3,000 years, a ritual the Spaniards would try unsuccessfully to eradicate. Come to Rotary Tuesday, November 1, when Arturo Morales Tirado explains the traditions of the Day of the Dead.  The meeting will be free and in English at Hotel Misión, Salida a Queretaro 1, at 12:30pm.

Rotary Presentation
“Understanding the Day of the Dead”
Tue, Nov 1, 12:30pm
Hotel Misión
Salida a Querétaro 1

“The commemoration of the Day of the Dead is a rich cultural manifestation of deep, authentic, unique, cultural diversity,” says Tirado. It has its deepest roots in the ritual and agricultural calendars of pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica from San Miguel de Allende to Honduras and Nicaragua in Central America.



Ancient Meso-Americans had to mask their myths and rituals in apparently Catholic ways. To make the ritual more Christian, the Spaniards moved it so it coincided with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, November 1 and 2, which is when it is celebrated today.

Arturo Morales Tirado was born in Mexico City. He earned university degrees in agriculture, engineering, and history, as well as a master of education degree and various diplomas in tourism. He has lived in San Miguel for more than 35 years.

Rotary unites neighbors, community leaders, and global citizens for the common good. For more information, contact President Nate Fultz at and see


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