Ecuador is a country of colors and celebrations, fun and fiesta. In this predominant Roman Catholic country, a monthly festival or a long weekend is a regular feature. The 2nd of November is known as Dia de los Difuntos (Day of the Deceased or All Souls Day).
In Ecuador, the All Souls Day is celebrated with religious fervor on 2nd November each year. If the 2nd of November falls on Sunday then the All Souls Day is celebrated on 3rd November. The people of Ecuador celebrate the All Souls Day in a unique fashion.
The celebrations are strongly influenced by the Incas traditions. People visit memorial parks and graveyards to commemorate their dead. They often take their favorite dishes which they consume at the graves of the dead.
This is regarded as sharing food with the dead. Visiting families also exchange food at the cemeteries. In tradition, the Day of the Dead is said to represent an opportunity to connect with the deceased and the ancestors.
In Ecuador, people believe that all the souls pass through a stage called “purgatory” where they are cleansed before they can enter heaven. To lessen the hardships of purgatory, the people perform certain rituals like ringing bells.
The sound of bells is supposed to free the souls from purgatory. Another way is to light candles and put them in pitchers of blessed water. In this way the flames that burn the souls are put out. Water is also sprinkled on the floor of the graveyards to refresh the souls.
The traditional food and beverage of the occasion are “Guaguas de Pan” and “Colada Morada”. Guaguas is bread baked in the shape of a child and colada Morada is a purple colored cocktail of assorted berries and other fruits.