Do you also celebrate Halloween in Ecuadorian style?
El Dia de los Difuntos, literally translated the Day of the Defuncts, takes you into a cultural and traditional trip into the identity of Quito. Every 2nd of November, families remember with a festive and colorful party, their loved ones that passed away.
In the early morning, they all rush to the cemeteries and offer flowers and crosses while sharing altogether typical food, prayers and songs. A different approach to honoring ancestors, through old indigenous ceremonies, mixed with Catholic traditions!
Make sure to be in Quito on this huge national celebration, giving you a great occasion to visit the capital and the ways to experience this tradition. Let us give you a sneak pick about how to celebrate and blend with the locals!
The most famous and tasty way to enjoy this festival is to drink a Cola Morada. This purple beverage represents a mix of Quitenian culture and gastronomy. The color is similar to wine, linking it to Christianity.
So how is it prepared? Just black cornflower, fruits, and lemongrass. It was originally prepared for the rainy season in October and November to celebrate the importance of life, from an Andrean world point of view. We drink it now with friends and family, accompanying it with Guaguas de Pan bread!
Guaguas de Pan
Remember the Guaguas de Pan, a bread we just talked about? Well, the colorful figures are baked in remembrance of the dead. Guagua means Child in Quichua. The sweet made out of corn dates from the XIX°s and is prepared with many sugar candy colors filled in with guava, cream, chocolate, cheese…
Festival of the deceased
You need to participate in the Patrimonial celebration of the deceived held on the porch of the Cathedral on the Independence Plaza at 10h30 on the 2nd of November. There will be many people fascinated and attentively listening to the storytelling of the history of this special date, along with traditional Andean dances and joy.
Between the 1rst and 4rth of November, artists of Quito gather in the Historical center and lead the way to a dramatized night walk through the old town, representing funeral customs. This route goes from the Cemetery to the Museum including the Basilic and Covent.
The Calderon Cemetery located at 30 mins from Quito, is most popular amongst Quitenian people. On the 2nd of November, Indigenous communities sit around the tomb of their loved ones and share the food that the deceased loved the most. This is a way to reunite the family and bring the cemetery to life.
What do you think about this festival? Is it not the best way to remember our loved ones, through colors, joy, sharing food? Join us in Quito during that time to remember them with us!