Photo courtesy of carmichael library – flickr
One of the many cultural holidays that I have yet to experience firsthand is Mexico’s El Dia de los Muertos. Celebrated annually on November 1st and 2nd, the holiday brings family and friends together to remember, honor and pray for the deceased.
Photo courtesy of Elaphurus – flickr
Though the holiday begins at midnight on Oct. 31st, the Mexican celebration differs from Halloween in the United States where skulls and skeletons traditionally frighten people away. Instead, hoping to attract the spirits of the dead, celebrants of El Dia de los Muertos decorate altars, sugared skulls and skeletons.
Photo courtesy of minicooper93402 – flickr
Other activities include joining in candlelight processions, and carrying photos of loved ones and food and flowers for the deceased on visits to cemeteries. While the practice may seem somewhat macabre to the uninitiated, the mood appears festive rather than somber. Music, dancing and sharing traditional Mexican foods like pan de muerto (bread of the dead) are all part of the ritual.
What about you, wanderboomers? Have you experienced this traditional Mexican holiday?