Thursday, April 16, 2009

Una Limpia

Religion in Mexico is a mixure of Christianism and pre-hispanic customs. Death, for example, is taken differently, and sometimes mocked at. During Día de Muertos (November 1) people will give sugar skulls with your name on it as a present, and nobody would feel horrified.

So, Mexicans believe lots of things that would seem strange to others. I will give you an example. Many think that if someone wishes you evil, or has bad feelings towards you, you will carry around those bad wishes, and that makes you be unlucky, loose money, not find a good job, frequently be sick, and things like that. So what is to be done? Have a "limpia" or a cleansing of these "bad vibes". This custom comes from way back, and in many places you will see signs offering this "job" which is considered very imortant.

While we were downtown, there were these people performing the limpias for 10 pesos (less than a dollar). The person in charge has their material ready- incense (copal) and herbs (basil, eucaliptus, etc., and other spices and mixtures). They light up tiny pieces of charcoal and pour in the copal (a resin). They ask the person to spread their arms, and procede to swat you with the basil and eucaliptus branches, and have the incense smother you, all the while chanting something in an ancient tounge. While this is hapenning, another person blows a sea shell that makes a grave, long sound. Our friends and family lined up to get their limpia, most just for fun, but maybe one or two with the hope of getting free of the bad luck they feel has been on them lately....




Material for the limpia..





Getting the things ready. The cup or chalice
is where the incense is burnt.




Valerie...




Paul....




Sister-in-law Yazmin...





Christian.....




Awilda......




And Christopher.
I love this photo, lookes like
the kid is burning.

So when you come to Mexico, you know what a limpia is. Tune in tomorrow for another exciting episode........ Bye.

1 comment:

maccandace said...

Interesting, Angie. I don't think I've heard of a limpia before. But I do love Dia de los Muertos. I always do a little something to celebrate it. It's mentioned here quite a lot that time of year.