The Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos as it is known in Mexico, is one of the most beautiful and unique celebrations in Mexico!
A WORLD WIDE UNIQUE FESTIVAL
A special kind of family reunion
The holiday is like a family reunion - only the dead ancestors are the guests of honor. It is a joyful time that helps people remember and celebrate the memory of those who have died. This is in big contrast to European Christian culture, where commemoration of the deceased is an occasion for mourning.
People set up a candlelit altar in their homes so the spirits can find their way back to their relatives. Also on the altar are some of the favorite foods of the deceased - just in case they get hungry. Items that were important to the ancestors during their lifetime, such as a favorite book or a musical instrument are placed on the altar.
Then it's off to the cemetery for a big party. Families bring a big feast while they clean tombstones, sing songs and talk to their ancestors. Parents may even introduce a baby to a grandparent who died before the baby was born.
PARTY ALL OVER MEXICO
In many cities there are also parades where everyone can celebrate the feast of the dead with live music, life-size papier-mâché skeletons and miniature skeletons made of sugar or clay.
For the Aztecs, the cempasúchil was the symbolic flower of death, and it is used to decorate altars and tombstones alike on the Day of the Dead. Cempasúchil has several medicinal and cosmetic benefits:
- Healing of wounds
- Treats oily skin
- Eczema and allergies
- and so on
As Mexicans, we always prefer the Day of the Dead to Halloween. Let us know what you think of this beautiful celebration in Mexico!