Dia De los Muertos
A Mexican Holiday
Dia De los Muertos (day of the dead) began with the beliefs of the
indigenous people (Aztecs) in Mexico before the arrival of the
It was believed that the dead family members would return to see
their family again.
Human Sacrifrice was believed to have an influence for the return of
When the Spaniards arrived, the beliefs were mixed into the Christian
Calendar. The day of the dead was then celebrated on All Saint’s
Day and All Soul’s Day. (Nov. 1st and Nov. 2nd)
Modern day of the dead
The day of the dead follows a three day period.
October 31st- Halloween- The gates of the land of the dead open
and the dead are allowed to return
November 1st- All Saints’ day- Celebration of the lives of the dead
November 2nd- All Souls’ day- Celebration of the lives of dead
Family will decorate the burial site of the loved one and usually
have a picnic there.
They celebrate the life of their dead family members by playing
music and eating food that that member enjoyed.
Families build altars for their loved ones and decorate it accordingly
to celebrate their life.
Usually consist of:
A picture of the deceased
Favorite food and drink of the deceased
Pan de muertos (bread of the dead)
Candles and Incense
Papel Picado (Tissue paper)
Pan de muertos(bread of the dead) is the most significant of any
The bread is baked with extra dough on top and decorated with
The bread is for the dead to enjoy.
Besides the pan de muertos, there are lots of candy skulls and
Food is used as offerings.
Skeletons are shown as bright and alive rather than dull and lifeless.
They are shown this way to emphasize death is not something to be
Papel Picado is a tissue paper with a certain design on it. It is
believed that when the paper moves in the altar, that family
member has returned.
Flowers, especially Marigolds, are shown to be the flowers of the
dead. The colors yellow and orange are significant too. The orange
represent the Aztecs and how they used orange remember their
dead. The yellow creates a path for the dead to help lead them
back home. That is why many altars have yellow flowers in front.
Compared to my Celebrations
Dia de los muertos is often quickly compared to Halloween. This is
due to the reference of the dead. Dia de los muertos is much more
alive and colorful. I see Dia de los muertos more similar to the
holiday of Memorial day. Dia de los muertos celebrates the life of a
deceased family member. Memorial day remembers the men and
women who died serving our country.
Memorial day may not be as festive as Dia de los muertos, but they
both hold the same principle. Remember those who helped you.
Dia de los muertos is a three day Mexican celebration of the lives of
deceased family members.
It holds that death should not be feared and that those in death must
"Dia De Los Muertos." HolidayInsights.com. Premier Star Company, n.d. Web. 06 Jan.
King, Judy. "Los Dias De Los Muertos (the Days of the Dead)." Mexconnect.
Mexconnect.com, 1 Oct. 2003. Web. 06 Jan. 2014.
"November 2nd - the Day of the Dead." The Day of the Dead. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Jan.
Reighn Trading. "Dia De Los Muertos." History of Day of the Dead & the Mexican Sugar
Skull Tradition. Reighn Trading Company, n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2014