Mexicans celebrate everything; however, there is a party that is not celebrated like the others. What Americans call Halloween, in Mexican culture is called the “Day of the Dead.” At this party, they put their sadness aside and have a private celebration when a loved one leaves or they want to honor them. It is usually in the home of their relatives, where they build an altar or a “Day of the Dead offering” with candles, colored flowers and objects that the deceased liked.
One of the most important traditions in Mexico and that gives us our identity in the world is the Day of the Dead. Every November 1st and 2nd we remind all of our loved ones that they are no longer with us physically. The 1st is All Saints’ Day, and the 2nd is the Day of the faithful, the offering reaches its maximum splendor, prayers and in some areas of the country the night is spent in the pantheons.
What is in an altar of the dead?
In Mexico, the traditions of this celebration include visiting loved ones in cemeteries, every year many families place offerings and altars decorated in their honor with:
*Photographs of remembered people
*Bread of the dead
*Some dish that the person liked
At the end of the celebration, all the dishes and drinks of the offering are tasted, which was also taken in essence by the deceased of the family. It is only during these days that the souls of loved ones can return from beyond to be close to their own.
On a social level, Mexicans express it in a fun way through small rhymes called “calaveritas” where they mockingly speak of various characters and the death. In 2008 Unesco declared the festival as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of Mexico.
The famous states and places in Mexico during this festivity are: Janitzio and Pátzcuaro in Michoacán, Xochimilco in Mexico City and Cuetzalán in Puebla, to name a few.
We invite you to learn a little more about this beautiful tradition in Mexican lands.