Day of the dead in Ecuador

Day of the Dead in Ecuador is known as Día de los difuntos. On November 2nd, All Souls Day is celebrated in Ecuador and over the Andean region, with unique manifestations of religious cultures. Throughout the country people visit the memorial parks to honor their departed. Indigenous communities massively visit cemeteries keeping an old pagan tradition of taking along the favorite food dishes to share with their loved ones by their graves.

They eat quietly and slowly in a solemn ceremony, sharing food among the families. Some of them circulate around the cemetery exchanging foods. They give food as a reward for those who pray for their departed.

The ancient belief is that the soul visits its relatives during these days and should have plenty of food to be fed and be able to continue further on its journey to the afterlife. The typical food for All Souls Day is "guaguas de pan”, (pronounced wa wa de pan)  accompanied by a beverage called "colada morada". These foods have a remote origin in the Incas, who offered their gods their bodies and blood in sacrifice ceremonies. "Guaguas de pan" is bread baked in the shaped of child figurines decorated with pastry - colorful frosting. "Guagua" is the Quichua word for "child". "Colada morada" is a drink ofa variety of berries with other exotic fruits and spices that give this beverage its purplish color.

Now day's families take advantage of the day which is to visit the grave site and a mass is generally offered for those family members now gone out of respect.   The colada and guaguas are enjoyed in a much more festive atmosphere!


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