Or the Day of the Dead falls on November 1st and is celebrated all throughout Latin America. While it is is celebrated all over Latin America, Dia de los Muertos Celebration is most associated with Mexico, where it all began.
This celebration centers around family with parties, festivals, parades celebrating the lives of those no longer here. The custom combines Aztec ritual with Catholicism since it falls on All Saints and All Souls Days.
The celebration is one of festive activities so those we honor are not insulted with mourning and sadness. Instead you educate how death is a natural part of our experience and an extended part of community. The celebration wakes those from eternal sleep to share in the festivities.
A universal symbol for the event, the skeletons /skulls or calacas and calaveras are wideluy seen as face makeup for participants. These symbols are also found in candies, parade masks and dolls. They are always portrayed enjoying themselves and in fancy clothing - as you would normally do at a celebration.
Since being born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico it is logical to assume I would be well versed in this celebration, but I am not. I saw it first hand in San Francisco’s Mission District where I lived most recently and it was amazing and still is. I had just lost my dog and the celebration allowed me to honor him and begin my healing.
This year, Dia de los Muertos Celebration is much more significant, and I understand the celebration better - I look forward to honoring both of my parents.
I love you Mom and Dad.