Cosmic Skull Girl by Michelle Fairchild
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and by Mexican Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember family and friends who have died. The celebration occurs in connection with the Catholic holidays All Saints’ Day on November 1st and All Souls’ Day on November 2nd. In Mexico infants and children are usually honored on November 1st and in fact this day is often referred to as either Dia de los Inocentes or Dia de los Angelitos (Day of the Innocents or Day of the Little Angels.) Deceased adults are honored on November 2nd.
Though this celebration is currently associated with Catholic holidays, scholars have actually traced the beginnings of Dia De Los Muertos to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a Goddess named Mictecacihuatl.
Traditions for the holiday involve creating or building altars to honor the deceased. Commonly placed on the altars are sugar skulls (sweet confections), marigolds and favorite foods of the deceased. Family and friends then take these items to the graves of their dead loved ones and present them as gifts.
Here is a video showing people in Oaxaca celebrating Day of the Dead and another well-done video of Dia de los Muertos being celebrated in San Francisco.
Have you have celebrated Day of the Dead in the past or if you will be participating in a celebration this year?
Do you have any family or friends who you would honor and pray for during this holiday? If you would like share their names and if you want also a note about them.
Have you ever created any art in the Dia de los Muertos style? If you have share a photo of your creations. If you haven’t consider making something this week. Perhaps you might even want to create an altar to honor family and friends who have died.