by Sam Torres
Thanksgiving is not the only November holiday. Every year on November 1st and 2nd, graves are covered in beautiful altars decorated in food, drinks, pictures and any other prized items. Sounds of cheerful music plays through the streets and the sweet, sweet smell of pan dulce (sweet bread) and calaveras (candy skulls) fill the air. Every year many people celebrate their deceased loved ones. This holiday is known as Dia De Los Muertos.
Dia De Los Muertos (Day Of The Dead) is a Mexican holiday that honors the dead through festivals and many uplifting ceremonies. Instead of like many people would expect the holiday doesn’t revolve around sadness it celebrates the lives of the deceased loved ones with food, drinks, ceremonies, and parties.
The holiday originates from an old catholic holiday called All Soul’s Day. All Soul’s Day is a Roman Catholic holiday that celebrated the dead who are free of sins. It later spread to the Americas when the spaniards traveled to Southern America (Mexico). They taught all the natives to celebrate this holiday so it became part of the Latin American culture. Overtime the holiday spread and is now one of the biggest festivals of the dead.
A very familiar custom associated with the holiday is the decorating of the altars. Altars are usually tables decorated in food, drinks, toys, games, pictures, flowers, and other valued items. The altars are displayed in graveyards or even in your house. The altar represents life. The main concept for the altars is to honor the dead and when they come arise from their graves, spiritually, the altars are a gift of all the things that they loved when they were alive.
Calaveras are another very popular tradition in Dia De Los Muerto. Calaveras mean skull in spanish but instead of just an average skull, the skulls are made from candy. The skulls are super sweet and probably horrible to your teeth considering it’s all sugar, but that’s Dia De Los Muertos for you.
If you are not involved in this celebration you should join this year by celebrating your past loved ones.