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Day of the Dead; A Beautiful and Bright Colored Holiday


What exactly is Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead? The Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 2nd and is celebrated in many Latin American countries even though it originated in Mexico. Dia de los Muertos is essentially a two-day holiday where families reunite with their deceased loved ones with a day full of delicious food and drinks, euphemistic music, love from your family and loved ones, etc. This holiday is based on a mixture of Indigenous Aztec traditions and Catholicism. Furthermore, it is meant to be a celebration of the lives of people who have passed on, different countries have their own separate and unique traditions but ofrendas have almost always been involved. Ofrendas (aka offerings) are small personal altars that celebrate the life of that person. These altars are most often decorated with bright yellow marigold flowers, photos of the deceased family, their favorite food, drinks, and other favorite items.

The origin of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. The holiday has its roots in the Ancient Aztec belief that death is not the end, but rather it’s a transition to another world. The Aztecs believed that the dead would return to visit their family/loved ones on this day, so they would create elaborate offerings to welcome them back. The Day of the Dead was not always on November 1st, instead, the original Aztec date was July 24th. It wasn’t originally just a day, but instead, it was two months because there were 2 days of the Dead festivals. The first festival, also known as the Minor Festival, was from July 24th to August 12th. The second festival also known as the Major Festival for the Day of the Dead was from August 13th to September 1st. The Minor Festival celebrated Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, while the Major Festival celebrated Huehueteotl, the god of fire.


Today, Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead is celebrated mostly throughout Mexico and in other parts of the world. On the Day of the Dead, it’s believed that the border between the spirit world and the real world comes together. As the deceased loved ones enter the homes of their family they are greeted by the lovely music and some amazing smelling food. Nowadays, the altar has very significant pieces that many us

e. For example, the actual structure of the altar and its levels represent heaven, earth, and the underworld. Next, the salt serves so that the body is not corrupted in its round trip for the following year. The colorful sugar skulls represent the person’s spirit. The Marigold’s vibrant and potent fragrance helps lure the dead’s souls back home. Lastly, the four elements, earth, water, fire, and wind represent the deceased person’s journey as they find the path to rest in peace.


Many people confuse the American holiday of Halloween with the Latin American holiday Dia de los Muertos. They both have completely different meanings, origins, traditions, etc.




Sources:



  • Marely Martinez, Springdale, AR , 11th Grade , Instagram-@martinezz.marelyy



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