There is so much rich history behind the holiday that we recognize as Halloween! Did you know that Halloween is also similar to a celebration known as Day of the Dead? Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures as well.
What is Day of the Dead?
The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have passed. They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.
Who celebrates Day of the Dead?
The holiday is celebrated throughout Mexico. Many other countries around the world celebrate similar versions of Day of the Dead as well, by having special days for honoring the dead. Day of the Dead has also taken hold in areas with a high Mexican immigrant population, particularly in California, Texas, Arizona and other parts of the United States.
When is Day of the Dead celebrated?
The Day of the Dead falls on November 1 and 2 of each year, coinciding with the Catholic holidays All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Although November 2nd is the official date for Day of the Dead, it is celebrated between October 31st and November 2nd. Usually the preparations (and some festivities) start even earlier than that. So really, the “Day” of the Dead can also be called the “Days” of the Dead, because the holiday spans more than one day. Traditionally, November 1st is the day for honoring deceased children, and November 2nd is the day for honoring deceased adults.
Where is Day of the Dead celebrated?
The Day of the Dead is celebrated in both public and private spaces. It is most often celebrated in homes and graveyards.
In homes, people create altars to honor their deceased loved ones. In some places it is common to allow guests to enter the house to view the altar.
In graveyards, families clean the graves of their loved ones, which they then decorate with flowers, photos, candles, foods and drinks. People stay up all night in the graveyards, socializing and telling funny stories about their dead ancestors. Musicians are hired to stroll through the graveyard, playing the favorite songs of the dead.
In the public sphere, Day of the Dead celebrations can also take the form of street parties, parades, and festivals on university campuses.
How do people celebrate Day of the Dead?
The most common ways of celebrating Day of the Dead in Mexico include setting and decorating altars or graves, sharing stories with friends and family, Making or buying sugar skulls and other sweets to exchange, participating in parades and other festivities. Most parades and festivities involve getting dressed up in elaborate and colorful clothing and masks.
Want to make your own sugar skull mask to color and wear for the Day of the Dead celebration? Follow this link to multiple printable coloring pages>>>