The Mexican custom of El Día de los Muertos — the Day of the Dead — may sound much like the U.S. custom of Halloween. After all, the celebration traditionally starts at midnight the night of Oct. 31, and the festivities are abundant in images related to death.
The celebration traditionally starts at midnight the night of Oct. 31, and the festivities are abundant in images related to death.But the customs have different origins, and their attitudes toward death are different: In the typical Halloween festivities, death is something to be feared. But in el día de los muertos, death — or at least the memories of those who have died — is something to be celebrated.
The Day of the Dead is a ritual the indigenous people of Mexico have been practicing for more than 3,000 years. It is still celebrated in Mexico as well as certain parts of the United States and Central America. Native Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations viewed
death as the continuation of life rather than the end.
The spirits of the deceased are thought to pay a visit to their families
during Dia de los Muertos and the families prepare an altar for them.
Here is a glossary of Spanish term used in connection with the Day of the Dead:
los angelitos — literally, little angels; young children whose spirits return
la calaca — a skeleton figure representing death
la calavera — skull
la calaverada — crazy, foolish behavior
el difunto — the departed
la hojaldra — a bread for the Day of the Dead
la ofrenda — an offering left for the souls of the dead
All the photos are coming from this flickr album.
If you want to find merchandise of this celebration:
check the online store Mexican sugar skull.