“Dia de Muertos” is how you would say Day of the Dead in Spanish. Seems pretty scary to celebrate a day devoted to the dead right? Well in Mexico, people don’t think so. Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout Mexico, and is very popular in the Central and Southern regions. It is acknowledged around the world in other cultures, and they all take time to focus on remembering lost ones. Family and friends gather together to pray and remember those who have died, and they pray to help support their spiritual journey.
In Mexico, it is recognized as a public holiday, and prior to spanish colonization in the 16 century, the celebration was held at the beginning of summer. It was moved to October 31st, to November the 2nd, to coincide with the Roman Catholic church’s celebration of All Hallow’s Eve, or Halloween. Many things are offered to honour the dead, like creating sugar skulls, picking marigolds, and cooking your favourite foods and beverages of the departed, and taking them to the graves of the dead. People also like to leave personal obsessions at the graves of their defies friends and family.
Scholars trace the festival bad hundreds of years to the Aztecs, who celebrated the festival in honour of the goddess Mictecacihuati. Many people paint their faces to resemble skulls, decorate sugar skulls, and parade around the streets to celebrate. To some, it may seem like a strange, even taboo event, but to others it is a beautiful celebration, that is extremely important as it is solemn.