People honoring their family members during El Paseo de las Almas
For this insanely beautiful event that originated in Mexico, everyone across the country takes these few days out of the year to honor their loved ones whom have passed by lighting candles, offering food, scattering petals in the streets and more. The Mexican belief of this day is that the gates of Heaven are opened on October 31st at midnight, starting the Dia de los Angelitos or Inocentes, where all of the children and infant’s spirits whom have passed , are able to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2nd, Dia de los Difuntos, then the adult deceased spirits are able to visit their families for the same amount of time. To begin the celebration, there is a tradition where Mexican residents paint La Catrina (article on how La Catrina orgininated here) inspired skulls on their faces and hold candles while walking in El Paseo de las Almas (the Walk of the Souls) all together at night.
A decorated alter during Dia de los Muertos
In Indian villages, elaborate altars are created on behalf of deceased ancestor’s spirits in everyones homes displaying their pictures, candles, glasses of water, traditional foods such as pan de muerto (plus so much more), toys and candy for the children and cigarettes and shots of mezcal for the adults. The main symbol that comes to mind for Dia de los Muertos are the tiny sugar skulls and these colorfully designed skulls are placed on the altars alongside the ofrendas (offerings). Marigold flowers, folk art and tiny sugar skulls are only some of the many decorations that are used as finishing touches before everyone reunites with their ancestor’s spirits.
A tombstone that has been celebrated by its family.
Many residents also visit the cemetery to clean their families’ tombs, play games, and listen to the village band while they are decorating their graves with flowers, colorful decorations, and other ofrendas. The whole idea behind this holiday tradition is to celebrate their ancestor’s life and remember them every year and is known as a joyful time to be around cemeteries.
This yearly tradition is very important to the Mexican culture because they believe that honoring their loved ones in this way will provide protection and good luck to their families along with keeping their families close together.
If you ever find yourself having the time to visit Mexico during this time of year we HIGHLY encourage you to do so, because it really is one of the worlds greatest cultural celebrations of life! BUT, if your unable to make it to Mexico during this specific time period we suggest watching the hit animated Disney movie Coco which celebrates Mexican heritage through the story of a young boy named Miguel who visits his past relatives on Dia de los Muertos!
Here are where some of the best Dia de los Muertos celebrations are held every year. Click on the links to explore each city!
If you find yourself wanting to explore this beautiful country during this beautiful holiday go ahead and head over to the Vital Ventures itinerary planner to Plan Your Venture to Mexico today!
To honor the lives of your deceased family during these dates, we have a few suggestions on how you can celebrate their time on Earth.
A variety of traditional sugar skulls
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