What is Dia de Muertos?
The Day of the Dead, or Dia de Muertos in Spanish, is an extremely important event in Mexico. It takes place on the 1st and 2nd of November every year. While most western cultures view death as a tragedy, Mexicans view it as a natural and necessary biological phenomenon. The celebration occurs at the end of the annual corn cycle - an analogy for the end of the cycle of life. The Day of the Dead is an opportunity for Mexicans to be with family and celebrate those that they have lost.
Altars for the dead are set up in houses and cemeteries to commemorate the dead. Photos and possessions of those who have passed are then placed in those altars along with their favourite foods and drinks. The final touches on altars are made up of lit candles, Cempasuchils, or Mexican Marigolds, incense, candy skulls, and Pan de Muerto, or “Bread of the Dead”. The Day of the Dead is, above all, a celebration, during which members of the community meet, eat, dance, and honour the dead.