Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead started 3,000 years ago, today it is a three-day celebration to offer food and drinks to the soul of our dead relatives.
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¡Espántame Panteón!

Day of the Dead, The Mexican Festivity known all over the world

This festivity of the Day of the Dead started 3,000 years ago, today it is a three-day celebration through which Mexican people offer food and drinks to the soul of their dead relatives. They make an altar, go to the cemetery, and wait for the visit of their dead relatives and close friends’ souls.

Family is very important to Mexicans. Day of the Dead became the most important celebration in Mexico, because it is a way to connect physically and spiritually with our family, both living and dead.

Day of the Dead in Mexico

Day of the Dead is the most famous holiday in Mexico. The celebration that began 3,000 years ago is now known throughout the world. However, it is important to mention that the holiday takes place for three days, it is not only on November 2.

During this celebration, Mexicans offer food and drinks to the souls of our deceased relatives. Tradition indicates that we must place an offering, wait for the visit of our deceased and go to the cemetery.

Day of the Dead Origin and Meaning

In pre-Hispanic times, the offering was dedicated to the gods of death. Once the offering was received, the Gods allowed the souls of the dead to reach Mictlán, the land of the dead.

With the arrival of the Spanish, the tradition was maintained, but it was adapted to Catholicism. In fact, in Catholicism there was already the celebration of all saints, so the Day of the Dead festival that we know today is a combination of Aztec traditions with Catholic traditions.

On the Day of the Dead, the offering is placed on the souls of the deceased and who return to earth to visit their family and friends. Beyond believing or not in the return of the dead to earth, in Mexico, this is a day to celebrate and live with our families, remember those who are no longer alive with us, fill the pantheon with flowers, eat, and drink everything our deceased liked.

November 2 is the day to celebrate the departed saints, however, the festivity begins on October 31, the day the offering is mounted, which is decorated with skulls, candles, flowers, photos, food, drinks and many other things that vary depending on the family and the traditions of each state of the republic.

The Celebration of the Day of the Dead

On October 31 the altar is built and the offering is placed. It is believed that during the night of October 31 to November 1, the souls of the deceased children return to earth, so tonight the offering is for them.

As part of the celebration for the deceased children, there is a deeply rooted tradition among living children, which is to ask for a skull. Similar to “Trick or Treat”, during the night of October 31st the children go out to the streets to play from house to house and ask for a skull. In the past, children received money as a skull, however, with the influence of Halloween, this custom changed to receiving sweets.

For some, the origin of the skull is pre-Hispanic, for others, it arose in colonial times, there are those who affirm that it was the influence of the Halloween tradition that coincidentally is celebrated on the same dates. The truth is that for children, their origin does not matter, this is a day to get money or free sweets.

On the night of November 1 to 2, it is the turn of the deceased adult souls to return to earth. It is believed that they come to eat, drink and celebrate that their living relatives continue to remember them.

On November 2, people go to cemeteries, decorate graves, place flowers, and pray for their deceased who visited them the night before. The visit to the cemetery is usually with the family, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren come together to visit their deceased, even if they never knew them in life. It is tradition to remember them and visit them at least on this date of the year.

Day of the Dead in the World

 In 2008, UNESCO registered the celebration as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

In 2015, the Day of the Dead was represented in the film “Specter” from the James Bond series. Which shows some scenes from the Historic Center of Mexico City during this celebration.

In 2017, the animated film “Coco” was made, which shows all the fantasy of the holiday and the importance it has for Mexicans.

Death

It is well known that Mexicans do not fear death, on the contrary, we celebrate it, being the Day of the Dead a sample of that. That said, I invite you to celebrate this November 2 the most famous tradition of Mexicans. I invite you to eat, drink, dance and sing in memory of our deceased relatives.
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