Day of the Dead – Mexico

Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, is a holiday on the 1st and 2nd November in Mexico celebrating the souls of friends and family who have died. This holiday is seen as an important heritage of Mexican culture as it is said that this celebration began as far back as the Aztecs.

As many Mexicans have emigrated around the world this festival is also celebrated in the United States, Canada and to a much smaller extent in the UK. There are also similar holidays that take place in Spain, Brazil, the Philippines and some parts of Europe.

The Day of the Dead celebrates the souls of friends and family who have died. It is a day to remember them and Mexicans will gather with friends and family in houses and also cemeteries. Small altars are built to hold sugar skulls, sweets, food and drinks which are left there for the dead loved ones. This may seem like a bizarre (and some may say), macabre festival but it honours the dead and remembers them. Some people talk about their loved ones telling stories and remembering their loved one.

In many regions in Mexico, the 1st November is called Di­a de los Inocentes (or Day of the Innocents) as families remember children who have died. Whilst, the 2nd of November is called Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead as this day remembers the adults that have died. Preparations for these two  days can start many months before with gathering of the food that will be offered to the dead.

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