Day of the Dead 2015, part 2….Día de Muertos 2015, parte 2

Text credits: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfeñique
Alfeñique is the art of creating figures from sugar. Today the figures are usually created for the Day of the Dead celebrations in November. The design and construction of these figures can vary from region to region.
The alfeñiques came to Mexico from Spain.
Alfeñique are folk art objects made from a sugar paste, originating in Italy where figurines were made from sugar for religious decorations. They became popular in Spain, wherefrom they were eventually brought to Mexico with Catholicism, where they became a part of Day of the Dead celebrations, starting around the 17th or 18th century. Alfeñique, whose name is from Arabic was used to replace the Aztec tradition of making figurines of amaranth for altars. The Spanish conquistadors brought sugar cane, which became the main ingredient in the making of these figurines which continues to this day. During the colonial period, figures of sheep made with this were popular.
Today, the main production center for alfenique figures are Toluca, San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato. Today, the paste is used to form hundreds of types of shapes which include rabbits, lions, ducks, doves, cows, bulls, donkeys, pigs, frogs, horses, deer, angels, skulls and coffins. The art form has taken on more elaborate sculptures that involve more sophisticated and modern techniques that there are now encyclopedic volumes on how to create them for all different occasions, apart from Day of the Dead celebrations. There are regional fairs and events that celebrate this art form, including ones in Toluca, Mexico State and in Leon, Guanajuato.

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Créditos del texto:
https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfeñique
Alfeñique, especie de caramelo o confitura procedente de España con base en azúcar pura de la caña preparada en pasta alargada y retorcida a la que pueden sumarse otros componentes; es una confitura folclórica desde tiempos coloniales en gran parte de Hispanoamérica.
Entre los varios significados de la palabra alfeñique está el que describe a una pasta de azúcar utilizada para elaborar dulces tradicionales. Tal pasta de azúcar, una especie de turrón, suele ser amasada con aceite de almendras dulces.
En México el alfeñique es un fenómeno sincrético en el cual se funden costumbres y técnicas indígenas con las traídas por los españoles que a su vez heredaron de las culturas árabes. Es costumbre su consumo en la celebración del 2 de noviembre, «día de muertos», en las tradicionales calaveritas de azúcar. Los dulces más elaborados son pequeñas frutas y cráneos decorados con el nombre de personas, siendo en México una tradición regalar estos dulces a los vivos.
El dulce de alfeñique es un complejo objeto artístico que reúne en sí mismo al infinito espectro de aromas, texturas, sabores y colores que sintetizan el refinado gusto popular que se ha decantado a lo largo de la historia mexicana.
Actualmente sus formas son: calavera, ataúdes con su muertito adentro, angelitos, animalitos, frutas y otros.

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