Dia de Los Muertos

 

I recently just learned about the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) .

It is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in many cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.

It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality of a National Holiday, and all banks are closed. I actually saw a gigantic celebration here in San Francisco in the Mission Area and that was actually the first time I ever heard about it since we don’t celebrate it in Germany.

The celebration takes place on November 1–2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2), so right after Halloween. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world: In Brazil, Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.

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~ by Colorful Soul on 11/03/2011.

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