Day of the Dead Celebration in Mexico

Oma H. Barnett

“Día de Los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) is an important folk holiday in México. It starts at midnight on October 31st.

November 1st. is called “All Saints Day” because it is dedicated to honor and remember the deceased infants and children. They are called “Angelitos” (little angels).

November 2nd. Is “Día de Muertos.” Throughout México family members gather together around burial places to clean and adorn the tombs with beautiful flowers and colorful offerings. Passages and anecdotes of the person’s life are remembered.

At home altars are set up with different types of offerings. A photograph of the deceased is placed on the altar along with his/her favorite food and beverages. If the person liked to smoke or played any musical instrument, they are also placed there to help the spirit of the deceased feel at home.

Cempazuchitl flowers (marigold) and votive candles are also placed on the altar to help guide the spirit of the person in case it cannot find its way.

“Pan de Muerto” (dead bread) is an egg batter bread made specially for this celebration and is one of the main ingredients when setting up an altar. Nowadays pan de muerto can be bought at supermarkets, food stores, and bakeries from mid October throughout November. It is delicious and has an orangy flavor.

Day of the Dead in México is a family reunion between the living and the dead, it is a time for mourning, sharing, and remembering the ones that are gone but never will be forgotten.

The Day of the Dead celebration in México continues to fascinate locals and strangers.

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