On the Day of the Dead, the boundaries between life and death begin to blur. Men, women and children of all ages honor and celebrate their loved ones who have passed away, participating joyously in a festival that has roots nearly 4000 years old.
Dia de los Muertos altar in Mexico
Photo © Eneas
Day of the Dead, called Dia de los Muertos in Spanish, is a Mexican holiday that falls on November 1 and 2 of each year. This holiday has spread in recent years from Mexico to America and beyond. It is now celebrated by Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and countless others around the globe who feel a deep kinship with these two special days that honor the dead.
Why is Dia de los Muertos such a fascinating holiday?
Foremost, Dia de los Muertos is a time of celebration. Although losing someone is undeniably a somber and life-changing event, Dia de los Muertos provides people with the opportunity to rejoice in the living memories of their loved ones.
According to Aztec beliefs, if you cry for someone who's passed, they may slip and fall on your tears. The Dias de los Muertos serve as a positive affirmation of the cycle of life and death, allowing people to reconnect with the spirits of their loved ones on the Other Side.
Cleaning and decorating graves for Dia de los Muertos
Photo © Alejandro Linares Garcia
Dia de los Muertos occurs on many levels:
Dia de los Muertos expresses the beauty and mystery of life and death. For many, it is a time of partying and celebration; for others, it is a time of introspection. At its most potent, it is a balanced blend of the two.
Dia de los Muertos skeleton
Photo © Esparta
Although it originated in Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is now celebrated in many different parts of the world. This special holiday is colored and altered by the unique traditions and flavors of each city, region and country where it is celebrated as other cultures mix, blend, and adapt Day of the Dead rituals to make the holiday their own… yet the meaning stays the same.
On this site, you can learn how to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in your own home or community. Explore this site to:
This Day of the Dead site serves as an educational resource for people to learn about Dia de los Muertos, and also a place where you can share photos and stories about Dia de los Muertos. For all intents and purposes, this site does not seek to be an exhaustive academic or anthropological study of the Dia de los Muertos holiday and ensuing cultural phenomenon – it is merely a fun and helpful guide that provides insight on Mexico's most famous holiday.
As you peruse these pages, you'll notice that Day of the Dead and Dia de los Muertos are used interchangeably. You'll often see both terms used on the same page and even in the same sentence! It's okay - they both mean the same thing. Sometimes you'll even see them in the plural – "Days of the Dead" or "Dias de los Muertos", because technically the holidays fall over a span of days.
I hope you enjoy this site as much as I enjoy making it. One last thing before you have a look around...
On this Day of the Dead site you will find many beautiful sugar skull images and other types of Dia de los Muertos art. Please respect the copyright of the artists and creators who have used their time and talent to create these images and share them with the world. Enjoy these images online, but please don't download them or attempt to use them for any commercial purpose. The artists thank you in advance for your respect and consideration.
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