what is mexican day of the dead

Dia de los Muertos

Oct 29,  · The Day of the Dead (el Dia de los Muertos), is a Mexican holiday where families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a . Oct 27,  · Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration of life and death. While the holiday originated in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America with colorful calaveras (skulls) and.

Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday, celebrated on the first two days of November. Its purpose is to celebrate the lives of the deceased on the days of the year when their spirits are believed to return to our world. It is a national holiday, seen by many in Mexico as second only to Christmas in terms of its importance, and it is growing in popularity around the world thanks to the Mexican diaspora abroad.

To help illustrate how fascinating this holiday truly is, here are 10 things you should know:. Even though they fall around the same time of year, and have similarities, the two are different holidays with separate origins and unique traditions. Halloween, as it is practiced today, involves trick-or-treating, wearing costumes, and decorating pumpkins. Day of the Dead traditions involve none of those things. In Halloween, spirits are seen as scary, or something to be warded off.

Day of the Dead focuses on receiving the souls of dead relatives with joy and hospitality. As mentioned above, the roots of Day of the Dead run deep in Mexican history and date back to the days before the Spanish conquest. Pre-columbian civilizations had a variety of celebrations aimed at honoring the dead. However, many of the traditions we know today come from the religious practices of the Aztecs, who believed different afterlives existed depending on how people died.

Several Aztec holidays involved rituals to honor the deceased, including decorating tree stumps and placing how to fix windows xp theme problems for dead relatives. These traditions set the precedent for the Ofrendas, or Day of the Dead altars placed by Mexican how to prepare for cs exam today.

The traditions were moved from summer to November 1st and 2nd to coincide with these two days. These sit alongside sugar skulls, candles, the traditional Pan de Muertos, crosses, and statues and icons of Jesus and Saints.

Secular, and non-Catholic Mexicans will often avoid placing this religious iconography on their Ofrendas. During the holiday, Ofrendas are not only placed in homes, but also in schools, offices, and public squares.

In cities around Mexico, public Ofrendas become a spectacle in itself, attracting dozens of people to view these gorgeous, large-scale altars placed within public view. They are often made by well-known artists, adopt a yearly theme, and are meant to honor important figures in Mexican history and culture.

While many would expect Day of the Dead to be a solemn memorial day, it is actually a joyous occasion, meant as a celebration of life. Instead of everything being dark and somber, as is commonly associated with mourning rituals, the holiday is bright and colorful, with decorations filling nearly every home and public space in the country. It is common to have celebratory meals with family, as well as street parties with music and dancing. In many towns, there are celebratory processions involving masks, puppets, and colorful costumes.

Given that Day of the Dead is a festivity, it has become common to interject classic Mexican humor to add to the light-heartedness of the occasion. Day of the Dead art often features skeletons drinking, dancing and celebrating, and these skeletons are often depicted in humorous situations.

These are often shared between friends and family, or are published in magazines and newspapers to satirize celebrities and politicians. A central part of the holiday involves going to the cemetery and spending time at the graves of loved ones. In preparation for Day of the Dead, families will clean and wash the graves of their departed, and decorate them with candles, and flowers such as marigolds.

They will bring offerings of food that the deceased enjoyed and objects that were meaningful to them in life. In the case of children, toys will be brought to the what is mexican day of the dead site. In many parts of the country, families will share a meal alongside the graves of their relatives, while sharing stories and memories about the loved ones they have lost.

The Flor de Cempasuchil, also known as Mexican Marigold is a bright orange flower that grows around Mexico during autumn. It has become an important symbol of the Day of the Dead. Around the time of the holiday, it is seen everywhere, from Ofrendas, to public buildings, and even parks.

This smell is believed, according to Mexican folklore, to attract spirits. The flower is also strongly associated with the sun and rebirth, given its orange color. Like any special occasion in Mexico, food plays a vital role. The traditional meal often includes Mexican favorites like tamales and atole, but what most people look forward to during the season are the desserts. The main what college baseball scouts look for of food associated with the holiday is Pan de Muertos, a delicious loaf of sweet bread, coated in sugar, and decorated to resemble a pile of bones.

Another staple is the sugar skull. An ornately decorated sugar sculpture shaped like a skull that can be both a beautiful decoration or a sweet treat. They come in both edible and non-edible varieties. The more decorative sugar skulls will often contain a space to write the name of a deceased loved one to be placed on top of the Ofrenda.

The edible version is simpler, and usually made from a softer kind of sugar. Edible skulls can also be found in a chocolate version, and bakeries and sweet shops across the country make skull shaped pastries, cookies, and even gummies for the holiday. Mexico is a very large and diverse country, and, as such, it is not a homogenous place. Thus, Day of the Dead celebrations tend to vary from place to place. It is not uncommon for different towns to have their own unique traditions.

Given the interest this generated from tourists, the Mexico City government actually created its own version of the parade inspired by the film a few years ago.

The parade became extremely popular, but it was not without its critics who chided the increased commercialization of the holiday.

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Oct 17,  · Dia de los Muertos —the Day of the Dead—is a holiday celebrated on November 1. Although marked throughout Latin America, Dia de los Muertos is most strongly associated with Mexico, where the tradition originate d. Dia de los Muertos honors the dead with festivals and lively celebrations, a typically Latin American custom that combines indigenous Aztec ritual with Catholicism, brought to the . Known in Spanish as ' El Dia de los Muertos ', this unofficial but widely observed holiday is celebrated on November 2nd each year, primarily in the Central and Southern regions of Mexico. It is a holiday that focuses on remembering family members and friends who have passed away. Traditions of . Hey there, Mexican friends! I'm a bartender from the Philippines and I'd just like to ask a few questions regarding the Day of the Dead. I'm planning to make a drink revolving around the theme. I would just like to be as respectful to your culture and celebration as possible. Making sure .

Dia de los Muertos —the Day of the Dead—is a holiday celebrated on November 1. Although marked throughout Latin America , Dia de los Muertos is most strongly associated with Mexico, where the tradition originate d.

Dia de los Muertos honors the dead with festivals and lively celebrations, a typically Latin American custom that combines indigenous Aztec ritual with Catholicism , brought to the region by Spanish conquistador es.

Assured that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life. Dia de los Muertos recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and growing up to become a contributing member of the community. On Dia de los Muertos, the dead are also a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share celebrations with their loved ones.

The most familiar symbol of Dia de los Muertos may be the calacas and calaveras skeletons and skulls , which appear everywhere during the holiday: in candied sweets, as parade masks, as dolls. Calacas and calaveras are almost always portrayed as enjoying life, often in fancy clothes and entertaining situations. Use the questions in the following tab Questions to inspire discussion about Dia de los Muertos, Latin America, colonialism, and culture.

Want to learn a little more about Dia de los Muertos? Read all about it at Nat Geo Kids! Dia de los Muertos predates the independence of Mexico, the U. Why do you think this is not a widely celebrated American or Canadian holiday? Answers will vary! They would be unlikely to adopt Dia de los Muertos rituals.

Though both Christian, these traditions have different religious calendars, and honor saints and holy days in different ways. National traditions influence religious celebrations. Even though both Spain and France were Catholic nations, for instance, Spanish citizens celebrated All Saints Day with family reunions, feasts, and festivals.

Few French citizens marked the day at all. Catholic missionaries often incorporated native influences into their religious teachings. They adapted Aztec traditions with All Saints Day to create Dia de los Muertos, where elements of both celebrations are retained.

Spanish explorers were also more likely to marry indigenous people, creating a hybrid mestizo culture where such cultural adaptation is a way of life. In some of these photos, masks and other decorations are only half-decorated with calacas and calaveras.

Every human being, no matter how beautiful or well-dressed, will eventually be exposed as nothing more than a skeleton and skull. The half-decorated calacas and calaveras recognize this duality. Although their flesh may have disappeared, their cultural associations have not. Skeletons representing firefighters may still ride in a fire truck, for instance, or a calaca of a vaquero cowboy may still ride a horse.

In many parts of Mexico, participants in Dia de los Muertos festivities wear shells or other noisemakers on their clothing and jewelry. Shells and noisemakers will wake the dead from their sleep, and keep them close during the festivities.

Day of the Dead holiday honoring deceased family and friends, celebrated on November 1 and November 2 in Mexico and throughout Latin America. The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited. Caryl-Sue, National Geographic Society.

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If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media. Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service. Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. You cannot download interactives. For thousands of years, this area was populated by groups such as the Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztec peoples.

Cultural traits that define the region include the domestication of maize, beans, avocado, and vanilla, and a common architectural style. Learn more about the rich cultures and lives of these early civilizations. Culture is the shared characteristics of a group of people, which encompasses , place of birth, religion, language, cuisine, social behaviors, art, literature, and music. Some cultures are widespread, and have a large number of people who associate themselves with those particular values, beliefs, and origins.

Others are relatively small, with only a small number of people who associate themselves with that culture. However, the value of culture cannot be defined by its size. No matter if a culture is widespread or kept within a small region, is young or old, or has changed over time or stayed the same, every culture can teach us about ourselves, others, and the global community.

Learn about the concept of culture while empowering students to learn about themselves and others with this curated collection of resources. National Geographic joins communities across South, Central, and North America to celebrate the history, contributions, influence, and accomplishments of Latinx, Latina, Latino, and Hispanic people who have enriched the United States. While the holiday originated in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America with colorful calaveras skulls and calacas skeletons.

Learn how the Day of the Dead started and the traditions that make it unique. Join our community of educators and receive the latest information on National Geographic's resources for you and your students.

Skip to content. Twitter Facebook Pinterest Google Classroom. Family members often clean and decorate the graves of loved ones on Dia de los Muertos. In addition to celebrations, the dead are honored on Dia de los Muertos with ofrendas— small, personal altars honoring one person. Ofrendas often have flowers, candles, food, drinks, photos, and personal mementos of the person being remembered.

Dia de los Muertos is actually Dia s de los Muertos—the holiday is spread over two days. November 1 is Dia de los Inocentes , honoring children who have died. Graves are decorated with white orchids and baby's breath. November 2 is Dia de los Muertos , honoring adults, whose graves are decorated with bright orange marigolds.

Spanish explorer or conqueror of Latin America in the 16th century. Dia de los Muertos. Latin America. Media Credits The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. Media If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer.

Text Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service. Interactives Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. Related Resources. View Collection. Cultural Identity. National Hispanic Heritage Month. View Photograph. What is the Day of the Dead? View Video. Ecosistemas Marinos. View Article. Educational Resources in Your Inbox.

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