Day of the DeadNorth America celebrates Halloween on October 31. In Central America, however, another holiday is celebrated, namely "the Day of the Dead", that is El Día de los Muertos. And while Halloween is about the fear of death (children dress to scare the dead), death is celebrated and celebrated during the Mexican holiday.
The Mexican party is not only celebrated one evening, but continues until November 2, making it one of the largest parties in Mexico. In these days, altars are often created to welcome spirits home. The specific details of the celebration again vary by region, with visits to cemeteries of beloved family members and eating traditional food such as pan de muerto, or the bread of the dead.
HistoryBefore the arrival of the Spaniards and the Catholic faith, there was a conviction that the deceased continued to live in another world. Whoever died was therefore buried close to home and it was of great importance to maintain ties with them. When the Spaniards arrived, a mixture of these beliefs and customs took place among All Saints and All Souls and thus the Day of the Dead came into existence. So it's a real Mexican celebration.
It is believed that on this day the spirits or souls return to the earth to be with their families for one day. The deceased babies and children would return on 31 October. They are called angelitos (little angels). The adults would come the next day.
AltarsThe spirits are greeted with sacrifices of food and personal, pleasant things from someone's life. These are then placed on an altar to invite the spirits. After these days the food may be shared among family, friends and neighbors and eaten.
Examples of objects are:
- Sugar skulls (with person's name on it);
- Pan de muertos (bread of the dead);
- Cempasuchil (marigold). (
CemeteriesGraves are decorated with colorful decorations, because the spirits would first return here and be greeted well in this way. Sometimes petals are scattered with a path towards the house. In some places people spend the entire night in the cemetery with a picnic, music, talking and drinking.
- Janitzio and Patzcuaro, Michaoacan (lighting candles on the water)
- Oaxaca, Oaxaca
- Mixquic, Mexico
- Merida, Yucatan
- Aquascalientes (Festival de las Calaveras - of the skulls)
- Riviera Maya (Festival of la Vida and la Muerta)
- Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas (many colorful ribbons, flowers and candles, and live music)