Celebrating the Dia de los Muertos Holiday (Day of the Dead) on the first two days in November is a great way to spend the holidays. Decorative skulls are a popular design during this two day Mexican holiday. From first glance, the decorative skulls may scare some people, but their intentions are the complete opposite.
Celebrating the Dia de los Muertos Holiday (Day of the Dead)
So why is the Dia de los Muertos such a big thing in Mexico? It’s an ancient tradition dating back approximately 500 years when the Spanish Conquistadors landed in Mexico, encountering Mexicans practicing rituals for the dead.
Dia de los Muertos is a joyous occasion which is meant to celebrate the lives of those who have passed away. The first day is called Dia de los Angelito, dedicated to children that have died while the second day is for adults.
There are a number of ways to celebrate the Dia de los Muertos holiday. You can create an altar with candles at your home with photos of your loved ones that have passed away. You can decorate this as much as you want. If you do an altar it’s also best to leave some food there to signify an invitation to your passed loved ones to join in the festivities. There is also the belief that they are able to eat the essence of the food.
You can also write short, yet funny poems to them, essentially making fun of them whilst ending it by referencing La Catrina who was a symbol of death or the Dame of death “La Calavera Catrina”.
More things to do during Day of the Dead
Another way to celebrate this holiday is by cleaning and decorating their headstones. It is said that it’s best to decorate that with the things that they loved. So if you uncle loved bourbon, bring along a bottle of bourbon, or if your grandma knitted all the time, just bring along some wool and knitting needles. It is also common for people to hold all-night vigils at the cemetery.
Singing and dancing are also encouraged as this is to get the spirits to join you in celebrating. It is also common to share stories of the deceased.
All in all, this festival is a way to celebrate life and to remember those who have passed away. It is a great festival to experience, even if you don’t happen to be in Mexico you can still celebrate Dia de los Muertos at home!