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Where does the tradition of ordering calaverita in Mexico come from?

24 mayo, 2021

These days it is customary for children to go out to “ask for little skull“, A tradition that has been confused with the famous” trick or treating “of Halloween, but they are not the same, or rather, they have a different origin.

Today we explain to you where this tradition comes from, which, believe it or not, was born in Mexico and which has currently been mixed with Halloween. Keep reading!

It may interest you: Pets also ask for their skull!

Asking for calaverita: a tradition of the Day of the dead

A long time ago, when the great rural landowners still existed and the date of November 2 was approaching to visit the deceased, the workers, most of them poor, asked their employers for permission to be absent all day and go to the cemeteries. .

As a kind of help, the landowners gave them food or some money so they could go to the cemetery and offer something to their relatives.

This gift became a custom, in such a way that every November 2, the workers went to ask for their skull.

But why did he adopt that name? It has to do with the creation of the weaklings; that is to say, those sweets made and molded with sugar, which were used to give to loved ones.

Children, especially, ran to the homes of the landowners to ask for a skull and take home a sweet.

This is how, with the passage of time, this tradition was combined with the “trick or treat”, with which children dress up and go out to ask for sweets in disguise.


These can be made of chocolate, amaranth or sugar paste. They are made in clay molds, where they are left to dry, finally they are decorated and even a name is placed on them to dedicate them. (Photo: Getty Images)

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A legendary origin

Legend has it that a very poor and macehual orphan boy went out to the street to ask for money or food from home to be able to put the offering to his parents.

During the Colony, this practice became popular, so much so that children went out with a pumpkin or chilacayote to ask for sweets.

Another story tells that a child, motherless, wanted to make an offering to his father, but he did not believe that the dead returned on November 2, so the boy, secretly, went out to ask for help to put a small altar to his mom.

As he lived in a very poor town, the only thing he did was get an old woman to give him some ash, which the boy placed in front of his mother’s portrait.

She says that her father left very early in the morning of November 2 to work in the cornfield and it was still very dark.

He was walking and, a few steps later, he saw a crowd of people walking down the road, who seemed to be heading towards the cemetery. Those people carried flowers, fruit and aromatic incense in their hands.

The man almost died of horror when among that crowd he identified his wife, who carried only a little ash in her hand. The one that the boy had put in his portrait!

Since then, dad and son have dedicated each year to leaving a humble but loving offering to their mother.

Discover more curious facts about the celebration of Day of the Dead and Halloween in Easy Kitchen