1 Jul 2020
The Day of the Dead, or El Día de los Muertos as it is known in Spanish, may garner international attention for its colorful traditional costumes and distinctive face paint, but for the locals in Mexico, this day is much more than just that!
While it attracts comparison to Halloween for its emphasis on dressing up and eating sugary snacks, ultimately this national holiday in Mexico is all about remembering loved ones who have passed away.
While Halloween is said to derivative from ancient Celtic festivals such as Samhain, the ritual of celebrating the lives of deceased ancestors is believed to have been performed by pre-hispanic civilizations for at least three thousand years.
It is from these celebrations that Mexico’s Day of the Dead as we know it came to fruition.
While Halloween tends to have undertones of fear, apart from its ominous name, El Día de los Muertos is considered a joyous holiday.
The whole point is to remember and celebrate the lives of family members and friends who have passed away.
Despite its name, this holiday is in fact celebrated over two days. November 1st is believed to be the day that children return to the earth to visit loved ones, while November 2nd celebrates the return of adults.
Because of this, November 1st is sometimes referred to as el Dia de los Inocentes (the day of the innocents) or el Dia de los Angelitos (the day of the little angels).
Due to its attractive yellow color, this flower is believed to denote life and hope. As a result they are often used on altars and at funerals.
Skulls are a symbol synonymous with El Día de losMuertos. Not intended to be scary, the skull is known as a whimsical motif that celebrates the eternity of the spirit world.
Candy skulls are often placed at traditional altars as an offering to the spirits.
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