Celebrating Day of the Dead in Mexico


Celebrating Day of the Dead in Mexico

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is a widely celebrated Mexican holiday with pre-Hispanic roots. It is an ancient and spiritual way of honouring those who have died, and remembering them and their lives.

History

Day of the Dead is an ancient tradition that dates back to the pre-Hispanic indigenous cultures of Mexico. This celebration is believed to mix with the Catholic culture after the Spanish colonization and it was adapted as a celebration of life and death.

Symbolism

The Day of the Dead symbolizes the connection between the living and deceased and their cultural beliefs that death is an integral part of life. It is celebrated with altars dedicated to deceased relatives and family members, Marigold flowers, dancing skeletons, brightly colored decorations, skull-shaped candy and sharing of stories, wishes and food.

How is it celebrated?

The celebration is usually on 1 November, but it lasts from 31 October to 2 November. Families set up community alters and lay out traditional offerings for their deceased loved ones such as:

  • Candles that will help the dead to find their way back
  • Cempasuchil Flowers help to light the way
  • Sugar Skulls decorations with the name of the deceased
  • Incense to help purify the atmosphere
  • Bread or Pan de Muerto, Mexican speciality
  • Favorite Beverages of the deceased
  • Favorite Foods of the deceased
  • Personal Objects of the deceased

Following this, many go to cemeteries to clean their relative’s graves, change the decorations and tell stories about the deceased person. It’s an atmosphere full of love and respect for the dead.

Conclusion

Day of the Dead is an ancient Mexican belief and tradition with profound religious, spiritual and cultural meanings. It is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of love and family. The celebration is deeply rooted in Mexican culture and is celebrated all over Mexico and in parts of the US.

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