Sometime one hears reference to “the days of the Dead” which refers to the Days of October 31 – November 2. October 31 is Halloween or All Hallows eve. November 1 is “el Dia de los innnocentes” or the day of the children and All Saints Day. November second is All Souls Day or the Day of the Dead.
The Day of the Dead is observed on November 2 each year. It follows on from All Hallows Eve on October 31 and The Day of the Children and All Saints Day on November 1.
The first day celebrates infants and children who have died. This is a group which is believed to have a special place in heaven, and are referred to as "Angelitos" or little angels. The second day is in honor of adults who have passed away.
In what became known as Día de Muertos on November 2, the Latin American indigenous traditions and symbols to honor the dead fused with non-official Catholic practices and notions of an afterlife. The same happened on November 1 to honor children who had died.
All Saints' Day
|All Saints' Day|
|Observances||Church services, praying for the dead, visiting cemeteries|
|Date||1 November (Western Christianity) Sunday after Pentecost (Eastern Christianity)|
Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) is a two day holiday that reunites the living and dead. Families create ofrendas (Offerings) to honor their departed family members that have passed.
The ofrenda must be in place by October 31, because at night, the deceased pop in for one night. Rooted in pre-Hispanic traditions and mixed with elements of Christianity, the ofrendas – which can consist of several levels, depending on space – are a place of gathering.
You don't have to be Mexican to celebrate this love-filled holy day, but there should absolutely be a level of respect for culture and tradition. Here are a few Do's and Don'ts on honoring Día de Muertos authentically and without appropriation or offense.
Water is placed in the ofrenda to quench the thirst of the sprits. It also symbolizes the element of life. Besides the pan de muerto, altares usually contain typical food items such as rice, mole, pumpkin, as well as the fruits of the season, especially oranges and apples for their natural perfume.
For each deceased relative, a candle is set. Their light is thought to guide them on their way back. The light of the candles also called ceras -waxes- symbolize Jesus Christ Reborn and faith. Flowers, specially Cempasuchitl, adorn the ofrenda.
“The celebration is an expression of Latin American culture and Catholic beliefs, which makes use of some familiar symbols to teach and celebrate the Church's teaching on the communion of saints.” Ofrendas, or altars, are traditionally used in Día de los Muertos celebrations to honor deceased loved ones.
A calaca (Spanish pronunciation: [kaˈlaka], a colloquial Mexican Spanish name for skeleton) is a figure of a skull or skeleton (usually human) commonly used for decoration during the Mexican Day of the Dead festival, although they are made all year round.
While our ancestors used careteas, or masks, to scare the dead away at the end of their festivities, today we paint our faces to look like skulls that represent a deceased loved one.
Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos is a series of commemorative days dedicated to those who have died. It is celebrated generally between Halloween and Nov. 2 and coincides with the Catholic holy days of All Saints (Nov. 1) and All Souls (Nov.
Today in Mexico, Día de los Muertos is still celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2, also still the Catholic holidays — All Saints Day and All Souls Day. ... An iconic symbol of Day of the Dead is sugar and chocolate skulls, which are candy skulls used to adorn altars.
Catholic symbols including crucifixes are a large part of Día de los Muertos and celebrants offer Catholic prayers to honor the dead as well.
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration of life and death. While the holiday originated in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America with colorful calaveras (skulls) and calacas (skeletons). Learn how the Day of the Dead started and the traditions that make it unique.
The Day of the Dead is a non-catholic celebration that originated in Mexico centuries ago; it includes the now popular Halloween night. From October 31st to November 2nd, Salvadorans go to cemeteries where their loved ones are buried; they clean their graves, decorate with flowers, and give them a fresh coat of paint.
How to celebrate Día de Los Muertos
|Day of the Dead|
|Related to||All Saints' Day, All Hallow's Eve, All Souls Day|