Celebrating the Day of the Dead

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Eneas de Troya. Used under Creative Commons License.

Day of the Dead celebrations at the cemetery of San Antonio Tecomitl, in the Milpa Alpa borough of Mexico City, Mexico.

Elizabeth Mooney, Copy Editor

The Day of the Dead, or Dia de Los Muertos, is a Mexican holiday celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2 of every year. The holiday is all about remembering and celebrating loved ones who have passed away. People participate in large parties, and parades are held with plenty of dancing and delicious, festive foods. Offerings are put on altars for the dead, such as photos of themselves and their favorite foods, and festive decorations are put up in honor of this celebration. 

   Skulls, or “calaveras,” are a very important part of celebrating the Day of the Dead. There are sugar skulls, skull decorations, and some people even paint their faces to look like skulls. The skulls represent a person’s loved ones. There is also La Catrina, portrayed as a tall female skeleton wearing a large hat with feathers. “She is a strong visual image depicting how the Mexican people see death and the afterlife,” states the ‘DayoftheDead.holiday’ website.  

Mexican Marigolds are also important to the Day of the Dead. They are believed to be pathways for the dead, to lead them to their loved one’s homes and their altersaltars where their offerings are put. They are also used in garlands and other decorative objects. These flowers symbolize beauty, and how fragile life can be. 

The Day of the Dead is a day to remember loved ones and the time when they were alive. Many people celebrate Dia de Los Muertos all around the world. While there are different holidays celebrating those that have passed on, the Day of the Dead is different and special in its own way!