Different countries celebrate different kinds of holidays and traditions. In Mexico, they celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). It is not Halloween though as it begins on the same date. Dia de los muertos is celebrated from October 31st through November 2nd. This Mexican holiday reunites families with their deceased loved ones.
Once a year, the souls of the departed will come back to their families and celebrate with them. Families with the departed ones will create offerings to honor the deceased family members. They create altars for the dead and decorate it with flowers and a photo of the dead family member. They also present the deceased favorite food and drinks. Below are the traditional Mexican dishes prepared during Dia de los Muertos:
- Pan de Muertos
- Calaveras de Azúcar
- Mole Negro
- Sopa Azteca
- Caramel Flan
- Red Pozole
- Calabaza en Tacha
Grave decorations during Dia de los Muertos are done when the deceased family members are buried away from their homes. There are people who will bring food to the cemetery and offer a prayer for the deceased loved ones. Some people will decorate the grave with flowers, lighting candles on top of the tomb and laying petals on the ground creating a path from the cemetery towards the family’s house. The decorations are done with the belief that the family members who have already passed away will return to their grave first. And the petals on the ground will guide the spirits to their home.
Today, people have incorporated fun into the celebration of Dia de los Muertos. The fun continues at the cemetery where the family will bring food, play music and spend the night at the deceased tomb as a way to celebrate the life of the deceased. Not only that – people are using costumes to express their appreciation for the people who are no longer on this earth. They will dress up as a skeleton as part of the festivity.
Over time, the celebration of Dia de los Muertos has changed and evolved. And with a mixture of activities from other cultures and customs. If you want to experience Dia de los Muertos in its most original form, visit Mexico for an authentic experience. Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in different ways in various locations of Mexico – rural places have more solemn and private celebrations while places in the southern part of Mexico have more colorful Dia de los Muertos. Dia de los Muertos is not the Mexican’s version of Halloween and it is not a day filled with sorrow but it is a way to honor those who have passed away and to view death as part of life.