Day of the Dead, without the Zombies, El Dia De Los Muertos

As you may remember from La Clase de Español back in high school, Day of the Dead or “El Dia de los Muertos” is a Mexican holiday which falls near Halloween.


Dia de los Muertos is not simply the Mexican version of Halloween.  Where Halloween is the celebration of all that is spooky and revolves around costumes and trick or treating, El Dia de los Muertos is about remembering and honoring those who have deceased.

Families and friends gather together to pray and remember those who have gone.  Alters are constructed and decorated with favorite foods and pictures of the person they honor.  Many people will visit cemeteries and decorate their loved ones’ graves, offering toys for deceased children and tequila for adults who have passed.

The holiday begins at midnight on October 31st and continues through November 2nd.

The start of the holiday in Mexico dates back thousands of years to an Aztec festival focused on the Lady of the Dead goddess, Mictecacihuatl ( ‘Meek-teka-see-wahdl’).  In Aztec mythology, Mictecacihuatl is the Queen of “Mictlan,” the underworld, and she is ruler of the afterlife.

If you are interested in a detailed story of the history of the holiday CLICK HERE

The most recognizable icon of the holiday is the ornately decorated skulls(calavera in spanish).  People paint them on their faces and create wooden and paper mache masks out of them.  Skulls and skeleton figures, performing various activities, decorate stores, common areas and homes.

Sugar candy skulls are made and decorated, sometimes with the name of the deceased person they represent on the forehead.

More recently the skulls have migrated their way into pop art and can be found anywhere from cell phone cases, to messenger bags to tatoos onto people’s skin.

Felize el Dia de los Muetros and have a happy Halloween!

Posted on October 30, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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