Today, Mexicans, their descendants, and all others who have adopted this holiday will begin their multi-day celebration of remembrance in honor of loved ones who have passed.
Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a reunion of friends and family that is celebrated on November 1 and 2. During this brief period, it is believed that the border between the spirit world and real-world dissolves and the souls of those who have passed awaken and return to eat, drink and dance with their living family members. This joyful multi-day event originated in Mexico about 3,000 years ago and has spread worldwide.
In remembrance of the lives lost, the departed are represented by intricate ofrendas, or “alters,” containing pictures, clothing, favorite foods, and special items representing their life’s work or personality. Treated as “Guests of Honor,” families offer toasts of kind words, gratitude, expressions of how the dead had once impacted their lives, funny anecdotes, and well wishes for their souls in the afterlife.
Homes, parks, gravesites, and streets are brilliantly decorated in a variety of ways. Most commonly with artistic Calaveras, or “skulls,” fresh marigolds, colorful lights, and cheerful laughter. In place of sadness and mourning, it is a time for celebrating life.
Mexican culture takes great pride in family, friendship, and tradition, and Día de Los Muertos shows this dedication to love and respect their families, even in death.
Happy Día de Los Muertos and may the memories of those you have loved and lost bring you peace.