what is day of the dead

What is Day of the Dead and how is it celebrated?

What is the Day of the Dead?

The Day of the Dead is one of the most observed days in Mexican culture. Most often it is observed by Mexicans and people of Mexican descent living in other countries on November 1.

This day celebrates the lives of the deceased, who are believed to return to life for a day. The celebration honors their memories with parades, readings, and parties. Also, people also dress up in costumes to resemble skeletons or calacas. These are figures related to death who are often depicted wearing elaborate clothing or jewelry.

Day of the Dead, a Celebration for the Lost Ones

day of the dead history

The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is an important celebration in the Mexican culture. It happens every year on November 1st and 2nd. Those who have passed away are honored by the celebration.

Day of the Dead celebrations are celebrated across Mexico and in other places around the world with significant Mexican influence like Canada, US, Chile and Spain. The celebrations follow different traditions but they all include food for the living and offerings for both children and adults who have passed away. The celebration also includes altars with favorite foods, drinks or objects that were important to those who have died.

Different traditions are followed by different communities to honor their loved ones that have crossed over into the spirit realm. Some traditions include sweeping gravesites before dawn on November 1st, singing

How is Day of the Dead celebrated?

how to celebrate day of the dead

Day of the Dead is not only celebrated in Mexico but also in other parts of Latin America. There are different ways to celebrate this day, for example with traditional foods like sugar skulls and pan de muerto.

This holiday is a celebration of the lives of the people who have died in the past year. Families will clean and decorate their loved one’s graves. Some will hold a Mass in their honor. And others will celebrate with a Day of the Dead party with festive food and music.

The celebration usually starts with a ritual called “Las Ofrendas”. This is where people decorate and create offerings for their deceased relatives and friends.

On November 1, people gather at cemeteries and light candles in honor of the dead. On November 2, there are parties and festivities all day long to celebrate the lives of those who have died.

What is Los Dias de los Muertos?

‘Los Dias de los Muertos’ is the Spanish phrase for Day of the Dead. It is a Mexican tradition that dates back to pre-Hispanic times. When they believed that people went from Earth to another world. The living would visit cemeteries on November 1st. And they would leave treats for the souls of their loved ones there.

Like other holidays, people celebrate Day of the Dead with food, decorations, and costumes.

What is pan de muerto?

Pan de muerto is a Mexican delicacy made of sugar and egg yolks.

Typically it is made in a loaf shape.

It’s traditionally eaten on November 1st to remember those who have passed away during the year. It can also be eaten during All Saint’s Day (November 2nd) and All Soul’s Day (November 2nd).

According to popular belief, it tastes like sweet bread would in heaven.

How is Day of the Dead celebrated worldwide?

day of the dead decorations

Day of the Dead is one of the most important celebrations in Mexico, but it has also become an international holiday.

For example, Brazilians celebrate Dia dos Mortos to remember lost loved ones. China celebrates Tomb Sweeping Day on April 5th to honor their ancestors. And Korea honors their dead by visiting tombs and putting food out for them.

In some Central American countries such as Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala & Nicaragua, Day of the Dead is influenced by Catholic customs from Spain. The celebration is more somber in nature. This results in a more solemn celebration.

The Day of the Dead commemorates lost friends and family members by praying for their souls to be at peace. Some people even believe that if they don’t pray for their loved ones on this specific day, the souls will wander the Earth forever.

Dia de los Muertos costumes

Day of the Dead costumes are normally associated with Halloween, but their origins are actually related to Mexico’s annual holiday honoring deceased family members.

Costumes for Dia de Los Muertos are traditionally decorated skulls, sugar skulls, marigolds, cempasuchil flowers and papel picado banners with wishes for the dead. They are meant to be an offering to help guide departed ones on their journey into the afterlife.

Usually, the costume consists of a sugar-skull makeup, or calavera makeup. This is an unblemished face with exaggerated eye sockets and cheekbones. Plus the traditional Day of the Dead costume also includes adornments such as flowers and ribbons in Mexico’s national colors; green, white and red.

Typically, the custom in Mexico is to dress up in order to show your respect to others who have passed away by wearing clothes you think they would like you wear. It not only serves as a way for people to remember those who passed away but it also helps them come out of their grief.

The Meaning Behind the Colors in Day of the Dead

the history of day of the dead

Bright colors, sugar skulls, and marigolds are often found in Day of the Dead decorations. These are all representative of the sugar cane industry in Mexico during colonial times.

Sugar skulls made from ground-up sugar cane stalks, are placed on altars to represent the deceased. The skull shape is believed to be derived from indigenous peoples’ temples in central America, where human skulls were displayed.

Day of the Dead Final Note

Above all, the holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to remember those who have died. In conclusion, the Day of the Dead is a popular holiday that celebrates life through various traditions. Plus it is an opportunity to remember and reflect upon loved ones lost.

About Author

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Jane Sheriff is the founder, creative director, party planner and mom of three. She started Darling Celebrations back in 2012 to share easy and beautiful ideas for celebrating the special events in life.

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