Celebrations Occur for Día de Los Muertos


Photo by Kaysen Strohaver

Mrs. Manore set up her class room for the Day of the Dead. The marigolds represented the dead and attracted their souls.

Kaysen Strohaver, Staff Writer

  Day of the Dead, or Día de Los Muertos, is a Mexican holiday that originates in Mexico and is celebrated all over Latin America. This year the holiday begins on November 1st and ends on November 2nd. The celebration day is always the first Tuesday after the first Monday of the month of November.

  On October 31st, Allhallows Eve, the Heaven gates are opened for 24 hours, these gates close on November 2nd.  Those who celebrate the holiday believe that the border between the spiritual world and the real world dissolves for 24 hours. 

  During the few hours, the border is up the souls of the dead awaken. Souls cross the border to visit their loved ones and to dance, feast, drink and play music. They come to have a celebration of life, and a celebration of death. 

  The multi-day celebration is when families and friends gather and pay respects to family members and friends who may have passed. It is a tradition for families to build ofrendas, or altars, for loved ones. Ofrendas have pictures of loved ones, personal belongings, candles, sugar skulls, marigolds and incense. Marigolds and Calaveras that are included in the altars are seen as symbols for the dead. 

  When everyone is gathered all together they celebrate their loved ones in a fun way. They have parties or celebrations with decorations and mementos that represent loved ones in some way, shape, or form. They also do things that the loved ones who passed loved. Such as dancing to their favorite music, playing their favorite games and eating the foods they loved. 

  During Dia de Los Muertos the food and decorations are very important. Food is eaten by both the people that are living and is set out for the passed loved ones for their departure back. One of the most common dishes prepared for this day was tamales. Tamales are a dish with an outer shell made of corn and filled with things like cheeses, meats, vegetables, chiles, and herbs.

  When it comes to the decorations, Day of the Dead includes trinkets like Calavera (sugar skulls), marigolds, photos of loved ones, perforated papers, pan de Muerto and salt. All of these decorations are most likely to be found on a passed loved one’s altar. 

  “I have seen a larger increase in knowledge about the Day of the Dead. I attribute a lot of this to Disney and movies, like Book of Life and Coco,” Spanish teacher Senora Manore said. “20 years ago people wouldn’t even be able to tell you about the Day of the Dead” she added. “I think there has been a lot more dressing up and the meaning of dressing up and going to the cemetery. “

  As the Day of the Dead increases in popularity, it is translated into other media in daily life including its presence in movies, television shows, books and so much more. 

  Examples of these things are Coco, a Disney movie in which the main character Miguel crosses the border to the other side of the gate where the spirits are coming from. In his journey to return home safely, he goes through many challenges but the viewer is able to see what the Day of the Dead looks like and can observe how everything is celebrated. 

  Day of the Dead has become a very known holiday and is starting to have an increase in celebration everywhere. The culture and traditions of the Day of the Dead have been brought to many places all around the world. The Day of the Dead has become worldwide and is very important to many for all cultures.