The Day of the Dead (known as Día de Muertos in Spanish) is celebrated in Mexico from October 31 to November 2. During this holiday, Mexicans remember and honor their loved ones who have passed. their life. This is not a bleak or bleak occasion, rather a festive and colorful holiday celebrating the lives of those who have passed. Mexicans visit cemeteries, decorate graves and spend time there, in the presence of deceased friends and family members.
They also make ornate altars (called ofrendas) in their skull apparel homes to welcome the spirits.
Due to its importance as an important aspect of Mexican culture and the unique aspects of the celebration that have been passed down through the generations, the indigenous Mexican festival of the dead has been recognized by UNESCO. recognized as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008.
Fusion of cultures
During the pre-Hispanic era, the dead were buried near the family home (usually in a tomb below the house's central courtyard) and there was great emphasis on maintaining relationships. with dead ancestors, who are said to continue to exist on another plane. With the arrival of Spaniards and Catholics, All Saints and All Souls Day activities were associated with Pre-Hispanic beliefs and customs and the holiday was celebrated as they were. we know today.
The belief behind the Day of the Dead action is that spirits return to the world of the living for one day of the year to be with their families.
It is said that the spirits of dead infants and children (called angelitos, "little angels") arrive on October 31 at midnight, spend the day with their families, and then leave . Adults came the next day. Learn more about the origins of the holiday.
Give to the souls
Souls are greeted with special foods and things they enjoyed while they were alive.
They are placed on the altar in the family home. It is believed that the spirits consume the essence and aroma of the foods offered. When the spirits depart, the living consume the food and share it with their family, friends, and neighbors.
Other items placed on the altar include sugar skulls, often with the person's name inscribed on top, pan de Muertos, a special cake made especially for the season, and cempasuchil (marigolds) that bloom in this time of year and add a special fragrance to the altar.
See pictures of the altar of Día de los Muertos.
In the cemetery
In ancient times, people were buried near their family homes and there was no need for separate tomb decorations and family altars, they were placed in the same place. Now that the dead are buried from their homes, the graves are decorated with the idea that the dead have returned first. In some villages, flower petals are placed in the path from the cemetery to the house so that the spirits can find their way. In some communities, it is customary to spend the night in the cemetery, and people have a party, have dinner outdoors, play music, talk, and drink overnight.
Day of the Dead and Halloween
Día de los Muertos and Halloween have some common features, but they are separate holidays. Both came from the early culture's beliefs about death that were later mixed with Christianity. Both are based on the idea that spirits return at that time of year. The customs around Halloween seem to stem from the idea that spirits are evil (children are disguised so they won't be harmed), while on the Day of the Dead, spirits are cheerfully welcomed as family members one hasn't seen in a year.
Día de los Muertos continues to change, and the viking apparel mix of cultures and customs continues. Halloween is becoming popular in Mexico: masks and costumes are sold in markets along with sugar skulls and pan de Muertos, costume contests are held alongside school altar competitions, and some children wearing costumes and riding donkeys ("pedir Muertos").
Visiting Mexico For Día de los Muertos
This holiday is a great time to visit Mexico. Not only will you be able to witness these special celebrations, but you can also enjoy other Mexican advantages during the fall. Although families celebrate the holiday privately, there are many public performances you can enjoy, and if you act respectfully, no one will notice the presence. your presence in cemeteries and other public spaces where Mexicans celebrate and honor their deceased.
Day of the Dead is celebrated in different ways in different locations across Mexico. Festivals tend to be more colorful in the Southern region, especially in the states of Michoacan, Oaxaca, and Chiapas. In rural areas, celebrations are mostly formal while in cities