October has come and gone, November opened its arms. Halloween behind us, the trick or treaters are now enjoying their candy.
However, the respect for those that moved on is not quite gone. Welcome, to the Día De Los Muertos.
A Name to Remember
On the first of November, the residents of Mexico and those of Mexican heritage celebrate Día De Los Muertos which translates to The Day of the Dead.
The holiday is a family celebration and remembrance of those departed from the living. The celebration supports the concept that even if a person passes on to the next life, they should not be forgotten by their loved ones.
Honoring the Dead
The Day of the Dead celebrates through the course of three days starting on October 31st and ending on November 2nd the memories of those who have passed.
Unlike Halloween, mostly celebrated in the United States and Canada, which focuses on young people dressing up and trick or treating for candy for one evening, The Day of the Dead lasts two days and isn’t only for the youth.
The first day focuses on the spirits of children called Día De Los Innocents meaning, Day of the Innocents. The other part, Día De Los Ángeles means, Day of the Little Angels.
On the second day, the celebration focuses on the spirits that are still among us on The Day of the Dead i.e. Día De Los Muertos.
Ofrenda or offerings are common when celebrating the holiday. A place is reserved to place pictures, paintings, and items that once belonged to the departed. Others decorate loved one’s gravestones with flowers and items from their life.
People in Mexican culture believe that spirits only exist if a member of the living remembers them. If people forgot about them when placed on an ofrenda, then the spirit fades from existence.
It’s no surprise that a holiday celebrating the dead has many different versions of decorated skulls.
People wear masks or painting over their faces with decorated skulls to blend in with the spirits. This makeup acts as a sign of respect and protection from evil spirits that wish to harm the living.
Remembering & Sharing
The Day of the Dead is a family celebration, those that are still with us and others that have passed on to the next life. It enforces the idea that just because a person is no longer alive doesn’t mean they should be forgotten.
Through sharing stories and memories, we are keeping our beloved ones alive.
Now, shush, I’m trying to read