Here at Orox, our Oaxacan heritage is extremely important to us. One of our most beloved traditions is Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). On this day, October 31st, people throughout Mexico celebrate by praying for and remembering the friends and family members that have passed away.
In celebration of this important part of our heritage we have made a new coaster that illustrates the major traditions of Día de los Muertos. The gorgeous image that is stamped on each coaster was created by Martin's cousin at Kinoko Designs.
On Día de los Muertos, Mexicans families will erect an altar adorned with photos of deceased relatives, as well as traditional and personal items. Many of the most common altar decorations are depicted on our coaster. To better help you understand the symbolism present in the coaster we broke it down with this handy little guide:
La Catrina - Depicted in the bottom center of the coaster is La Catrina, an extremely famous cartoon drawn by José Guadalupe Posada. Originally drawn as a satirical depiction of Mexican natives who shunned their heritage in favor of European traditions, La Catrina has become one of the most recognizable symbols of death in Mexico.
Sagrado Corazón - Día de los Muertos itself is a combination of the beliefs of indigenous Mexicans and Catholic influence in the area. Because of this, it is common to see a lot of Catholic imagery used in Día de los Muertos traditions. An example of this can be found to the left of La Catrina. This image is El Sagrado Corazón (The Sacred Heart), which is an extremely important symbol in Catholic traditions.
Cigarrillos Faros and Cerillos Clasicos - It is tradition to adorn a Día de los Muertos altar with a gifts of items important to the deceased. For example, if the deceased was a smoker it is common to put a box of Cigarillos Faros (a traditional Mexican cigarette brand) and Cerillos Clasicos (matches) on the altar as a way to remember and celebrate the life of the deceased. An image of these two items are depicted on the coaster just to the left of the Orox logo.
Molinillo and Chocolate de Agua- On the right side of the Orox logo is an image of a tall ceramic pot and a tooled baton. This is a pot of chocolate de agua and a molinillo. Chocolate de agua is a traditional Oaxacan drink made from boiled water, chocolate, and in some cases spices like cinnamon are added. This drink is stirred using a traditional whisk called a molinillo. The molinillo tends to have beautiful designs and etchings that add style and functionality to the tool.
Pan de muertos and muñecas - Literally translated to "bread of the dead", pan de muertos is a special form of pan de yema, a light, flaky bread made from egg yolks. Pan de muertos is specially reserved for Día de los Muertos traditions. In Oaxacan tradition, pan de muertos contain small doll faces called muñecas that symbolize the souls of the deceased. These loaves of bread are placed in the altar as a gift for the deceased. An image of pan de muertos can be found on the coaster right below the pot of chocolate de agua and an image of a traditional muñeca is just above the sagrado corazón.
Veladoras - Veladoras are small candles that are placed on the altar to symbolize the element fire, religious traditions and as a symbol of remembrance of the dead. Images of veladoras are located throughout the coaster.