DAY OF THE DEAD: A FRIDAY OF TRADITION AND A MILLENNIUM CULTURE
The Day of the Dead is par excellence, one of the oldest and most important traditions of the Mexican country. Covered by a great diversity of colors, flavors, and smells, this date is carried out in each state of the republic in a different way, providing different facets of the same concept, rich in history and spirit.
This Friday, Alamar participated in the placement of altars, organized by the Delegation of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, where he paid tribute to one of the most famous chefs in the world: Anthony Bourdain, who died on June 8 of this year.
The altar was decorated with basic elements such as candles, cempasúchil flowers, colorful paper, skulls, and salt, as well as cartoons, tequila, Mexican snacks, a guitar, and a travel backpack, which are part of the favorite things of which the chef used to enjoy in life.
Several tourists stopped to contemplate this altar, recognizing immediately the main figure, of whom there are fond memories, since the chef Anthony Bourdain had become famous thanks to different writings on the world of the kitchen, but above all for his television programs, such as: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, The Mind of a Chef, A Cook’s Tour, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, and many more.
Finally, the night passed quietly in the dim light of the candles, which are expected, have illuminated the path of such a renowned character.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN: A CHEF OUT OF SERIES
For the world of cooking, Anthony Bourdain was one of the most prominent figures and achieved great fame during the last years. He was born in New York on June 25, 1956, being at an early age that he moved to France with his parents; and where he later learned the love of cooking after trying an oyster for the first time.
After much effort and sacrifice, he managed to gain good experience with what he studied at the Culinary Institute of America, performing an excellent job in different restaurants and obtaining in 1990, the position of chef at the restaurant Brasserie Les Halles, located in Manhattan, New York.
As mentioned earlier, Bourdain achieved fame after writing the article in The New Yorker magazine, entitled “Don’t Eat Before Reading This”, and other bestsellers such as Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000). Before becoming a star, he was a young man with a dissolute life and addiction to substances.
His style on television was sharp and unique, which brought the programmers to the head because of the foul language he sometimes used before the camera; and that not only gave him authenticity before the spectators but also earned him several labels such as “the rebellious chef”.
Bourdain died on June 8, 2018, in a hotel in Kaysersberg-Vignoble at age 61, due to a suicide by hanging, possibly motivated by depression. The chef had traveled to France to record an episode of Parts Unknown, set in Alsace.
Anthony Bourdain was in love with Mexico, so he usually enjoyed eating at street food stalls in the country. He was also an advocate for Latin American immigrants, especially Mexicans, whose labor was considered essential to the American culinary industry. In 2014, he posted on his Twitter account a letter expressing his admiration for this country, entitled “Letter of Love to Mexico,” which you can read here.
¿WHAT IS AN ALTAR OF THE DEAD?
The altars of the dead are one of the most important elements in the celebration of the Day of the Dead; since it is believed that on this day the souls return to enjoy the dishes and the offerings that are offered. In this way, living and dead are reunited in a dimension that allows them to live together.
There are different altars with different levels, and depending on how many they have, it is the meaning they will carry. For example, altars of two levels represent heaven and earth, but if it is three, purgatory is added. Finally, the largest are of 7 levels, which represent the steps to reach eternal rest.
To make an altar, simply present the following basic elements: water, candles, incense, copal, cempasúchil flowers, a cross, bread of the dead, photograph of the deceased, food, sugar skulls, salt and chopped paper. All these objects have a meaning intimately linked to the Day of the Dead, whose presence varies according to the region and customs.
To know more about the meaning of these elements, you can find it here.