Dia de Los Muertos, otherwise known as Day of the Dead, is a two-day Mexican holiday giving people time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed. The first two days in November every year provide a time to remember the deceased and honor their greatness.
November 1, otherwise known as “All Saints Day,” is the day to celebrate the lives of younger passings like children and babies. November 2, otherwise known as “All Souls Day”, is the more well-known holiday as it reunites family and friends to appreciate the lives of the adults and the elderly. The celebrations include decorations, parties, food and drinks.
Creating an altar for loved ones who have passed is a great sign of respect for them. A table with a picture of them, flowers, chocolates, sugar candy and bright colored decorations is all that it takes to make a beautiful remembrance.
People like to wear sugar skull makeup and dress in costumes such as clothes with sugar skulls or skeleton prints.
As years go on, fewer people celebrate it and understand its real importance to welcome back the souls of the dead.
Some believe that Dia de Los Muertos is only celebrated in Mexico where the holiday originated. However, Day of the Dead is a worldwide holiday for everyone to participate in by decorating, creating altars and eating some of the typical holiday foods.
Some of the typical holiday foods consist of chocolates, tamales, sweet bread, candied pumpkin and whatever the ancestor’s favorite food is. Tamales are eaten by the living with the idea of sharing them with the spirits of the dead. They eat foods such as an offering to the departed, especially their favorite foods as a sign of respect.
One of the biggest reasons why not enough people celebrate it or even know of Day of the Dead is because of Halloween. Since Halloween and Day of the Dead are only one to two days apart from one another, people may have even forgotten about it. The two holidays look very similar and can be confused with one another in the fact that both dress up in costumes and decorate skulls and skeletons.
The sugar skulls are not meant to be Halloween decorations, they’re meant to be representations of the deceased in a beautifully decorated way.
There are plenty of Day of the Dead festivals, craft shows and parties to bring more awareness to itself and bring people together. Families can use Dia de Los Muertos as a reunion and celebrate their previous ancestors’ lives.
Not always does it have to be relatives being remembered, anyone can celebrate anyone they want. Friends, family, partners or even associates. Everyone is welcome to celebrate this wonderful holiday and spread the word to provide a bigger and better celebration each year.
If enough people understand the meaning and importance of this Mexican holiday, it is possible more will celebrate it and share the reunions with others close to them.