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Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life

Halloween is one of the most popular holidays within the U.S. Another holiday that happens during this time of year is Day of the Dead, also known as Dia de los Muertos. The Day of the Dead is celebrated in Central, Southern Mexico and Central America. During the chilly days of November 1st and 2nd the indigenous people from a Hispanic decent spend this time honoring their deceased loved one. The people who celebrate this holiday believe that the gates of heaven are open at midnight on October 31st, and the spirits of the deceased children are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2nd, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that have been prepared. Day of the Dead usually is a very expensive holiday. Many spend over two month’s income to honor their dead relatives. They believe that happy spirits serve protection, good luck, and wisdom to their families. One the afternoon of November 2nd, the festivities are taken to the cemetery. There the people clean their families tombs, play cards, listen to the village band, and reminisce about their lost loved ones.

Some of the festivities that happen during the Day of the Dead are:

 

Craft Markets: Sugar skulls are sold within the markets of the festivals during Dia de los Muertos. Sugar skulls and face painting is seen as a way for individuals to ward off death.  

 

Food, food, and more food: Food is a huge element of Day of the Dead, they do not just make it to eat it but to put it on the altar of their loved ones as an offering. One of the main dishes is Day of the Dead Bread. It is decorated with strips of dough which appear like human bones

 

Altars: Dead of the Dead altars are a focal point of many museums and public spaces. Each family is able to decorate these with symbols that remind them of their loved ones.

 

 

Las Ofrendas: Las Ofrendas are types of symbols that are put at each altar for the deceased loved ones. A few symbols consist of candles, photos, skulls, prepared foods, and religious items.

 

Graves and Tombs: At the end of November 2nd the families gather at their loved one’s grave and tell stories in remembrance of them.

The Day of the Dead is not as recognized as Halloween, but it does not mean it is any less important. The duration of the Day of the Dead is a joyous, ritualistically elaborate celebration of life, rather than a sober mourning of passing. For some if is a beautiful holiday being spent with family, friends, and past loved ones.

Her Campus CWU President and Writer Previous Her Campus CWU Events Director Current student at Central Washington University  Major: Public Relations Minor: Advertising, Sports Business, and Interdisplinary Honors I love writing about anything and everything! Politics, fashion, mental health, and many others! I hope to be able to utilize my skills/ endeavors from Her Campus, along with other clubs, organizations, and experience in order to pursue a career in PR. 
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