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Hanal Pixan


Hanal Pixan celebrations
Photo courtesy Xcaret
Definition: Hanal Pixán in the Mayan language means "food of souls." This is the name given to Day of the Dead celebrations in the Maya area. In this region, food takes on a special meaning as traditional dishes are prepared for the spirits who are believed to return on this day.

Hanal Pixan is celebrated in a similar way to Day of the Dead celebrations in other parts of Mexico. Families set up altars in their homes and decorate graves in the cemeteries, but the foods that are prepared are unique to the Maya area of the Yucatan Peninsula. Mucbipollo, which means "buried chicken" is the quintessential Hanal Pixan food. It's similar to a tamal - it is made with corn dough and wrapped in leaves, but it is much larger than a normal tamal, and it is cooked in an underground pit.

See more Vocabulary Words for Day of the Dead

Also Known As: Day of the Dead, Día de Muertos
Alternate Spellings: Hanalpixan, Hanal Pixán
Common Misspellings: hanalpishan, hanal pishan
Hanal Pixan is a Mexican tradition in which deceased loved ones are celebrated and honored.
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