Staff Picks

Woman with skeleton face paint and wide brimmed black hat with flowers
Woman with skeleton face paint and wide brimmed black hat with flowers

Día de Muertos, A Celebration of Life

October 02, 2017

Many people outside Latin America are surprised to learn that Día de Muertos (or, the Day of the Dead) is neither synonymous with nor derived from Halloween. Though the two holidays now coincide on the calendar, Día de Meurtos is a traditional Aztec celebration that was originally held in summer, pre-dating the arrival of Catholicism in Latin America by hundreds of years. During Día de Meurtos people across Mexico come together to celebrate the lives of those who have passed—and we do mean celebrate. This is not an occasion for sadness; rather, it is a joyous time in which the dead are thought to rise up and dwell among their loved ones. Celebrants frequently prepare the deceased's favorite food and drink, and families will even build small altars to honor their ancestors. Children are especially delighted by the festivities, during which they receive candies and dolls, and all are entertained by the elaborate costumes (skeleton and skull motifs dominate). Día de Meurtos reminds us that, though our loved ones may pass away, they are never truly gone from this world.

Thank You