Happy Day of the Dead! Also known as “Dia de los Muertos” in Spanish, Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated on November 1st and 2nd in Latin American countries. It is one of the biggest holidays in Mexico. It is a joyous occasion where people celebrate the loved ones who have died. There is a belief that the souls of the dead come back to visit their loved ones. In fact, Day of the Dead is a celebration with the dead, not of the dead.
Usually, deceased children are celebrated on November 1st, while decreased adults are honoured November 2nd.
Here are some ways the Day of the Dead is celebrated:
- People can be found on the streets wearing wooden skull masks called calacas and dancing in honour of the deceased.
- Altars dedicated to the dead are also common. Decorate with the person’s photo, wooden skulls, their favourite foods and other personal items. Don’t forget to add flowers and candles. Altars are typically decorated with yellow marigolds.
- Visit the graves of your loved ones. Bring marigold flowers and offerings. Marigolds are thought to attract the souls of the dead. For dead children, toys and other trinkets are often left on the grave. For adults, bring bottles of alcoholic beverages like tequila. It is also common sit next to the gravesite and eat the favourite foods of their loved ones.
- Prepare a special dinner in honour of the deceased. Include a plate setting and their favourite foods for each member of the deceased.
- Celebrate. Eat, drink and be merry! Tell funny stories.
Here are some examples of the altars:
- Welcome to the Day of the Dead (wickedandweirdaroundtheworld.com)
- Day of the Dead Flowers (greenfountaindale.wordpress.com)