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a short history of

day of the dead • dia de muertos

 

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), observed primarily on November 2nd, but celebrated through-out many regions of Mexico from late October to early November, is a time to honor and remember loved ones who have passed. 

A ritual dating back to the Pre-Hispanic era, it’s a tradition that has evolved in combining different cultures and beliefs from the many people of Mexico, through the colonial to current generations.

 
... honor and remember loved ones ...
 

Friends and family gather to offer hospitality and homage to the spirits of the deceased, creating from simple to elaborate altars in their homes and cemeteries, decorating with yellow ‘cempasúchil’ flowers (Mexican marigolds), the loved one’s favorite foods and drinks including ‘pan de muerto’, as well as pictures and other special objects with personal symbolism to them.

 
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It is said the vibrancy of the yellow marigolds represents the path the spirits need to take to return home and give solace to the family members that are still alive, while the candles brighten the dark way through transcending the tomb.

 
 
 
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More than a celebration of death, it’s a celebration of the life they lead—the unity of life and death—the end of an earthly existence,
and the beginning of a joining with those who have passed before them.

 

 
 

Although Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday, all can appreciate its message and take joy in the holiday, tradition and celebration.