Mexico’s Day Of The Dead
Today and tomorrow are the official holiday days for Mexico’s Day of the Dead. Día de los Muertos, as it is known locally, is one of the most important holidays in the country and is not a Latin American version of Halloween.
Day of the Dead is not held to ward off ghouls and ghosts and is by no means a sombre occasion, instead it is a celebration to remember passed family members and to demonstrate love and respect for them.
The celebration holds great significance for Mexico’s indigenous communities. A fusion of pre-Hispanic religious rites and Catholic feasts result in an explosion of colour, as much of the population don funky makeup and costumes.
In some locations Día de los Muertos takes over completely. Bright orange marigold flowers and papel picado (a traditional Mexican decorative craft paper) adorn the streets, as parties, parades and processions sweep throughout towns and cities.
Day of the Dead origins date back to the Aztec celebration of the goddess Mictecacihuatl, the Aztec Queen of the Underworld. However, after Spain colonised Mexico, the celebration was moved back from early summer to late autumn to coincide with the Christian celebration of the dead – Allhallowtide.
The official date for Day of The Dead is 2nd November, although the holiday period is usually the 1st and 2nd, aligning with the Christian All Saints and All Souls days.
While the celebration is largely a Mexican tradition, it is also observed in certain areas of Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti and Peru.
Day of the Dead is also celebrated amongst the United State’s huge Latino population, with arguably the largest celebration being held in Albuquerque, New Mexico each year.
So, we wish you a ‘Happy Day of the Dead’, or as the Mexicans would say ‘Feliz Día de los Muertos‘.