The Day of the Dead or Dia de Los Muertos is a traditional holiday celebrated on the first two days of November. The central and southern areas of Mexico, for the most part, celebrate this holiday. This festival takes place on the same days as All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day.
What is Day of the Dead
Dia de Los Muertos joins the old Aztec custom of commending the dead with All Souls’ Day, an occasion that Spaniards conveyed to Mexico beginning in the middle of the sixteenth century. Individuals set up a candlelit sacrificial stone in their homes so spirits can discover their way back to their relatives. Families bring food and drinks while they clean gravestones, sing melodies, and converse with their ancestors.
Origin Of Day of the Dead
The Day Of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico and also in the USA. The celebration of this Latin American Holiday is reported to have its origins in Mexico. As the name suggests, the Day Of The Dead is celebrated to honor the deceased folks. The indigenous beliefs of native Columbians along with the Catholic beliefs have contributed to the celebration of the holiday of Day of the Dead.
The native tribes living in the Mesoamerica regions around 4000 years ago, used to believe in the afterlife. In several historic sites in Mexico, the burial sites and the burial methods reveal the proof about their belief in the afterlife. The tombs of the deceased would be constructed beneath the place of dwelling of the family.
Hispanic Beliefs Regarding Death
The Aztecs or the native Mesoamericans observed that there were a number of parallel planes of existence. They believed that there were 13 floors of heaven above the Earth and 9 floors of hell below the Earth. Such floors were called overworld and underworld respectively. Each and every floor has a different God designated to it. Each floor was unique in its own way. The more honorable your death was, the higher floor your soul would be allocated to. Soldiers who died during the war, women who died while giving birth, were considered to be highly honorable and they would get the highest plane of the overworld.
In the month of August, the Mesoamericans would have a holiday which would last throughout the month. The celebration would be to honor the dead and the ancestors. This celebration was also done to pay respect to the God and Goddess of the Underworld. In this month, homage was paid to Mictlantecuhtli and his wife Mictlancíhuatl. This month-long celebration is also reported to be dedicated to the Lady of the Dead or La Calavera Catrina.
The day of the dead coincides with All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day. The Spanish people came to the Mesoamerican regions in the sixteenth century. At the point when the Spaniards touched base in the sixteenth century, they acquainted the Catholic confidence with the indigenous individuals of Mesoamerica and attempted to stamp out the local religion. They were just tolerably effective, and the Catholic lessons blended with the local convictions to make new conventions. The celebration identified with death and commending the precursors was moved to agree with the Catholic occasions of All Saints Day and All Souls Day, and in spite of the fact that it is viewed as a Catholic occasion, it holds components of the pre-Hispanic festivals.
What is the Day of the Dead
Dia De Los Muertos respects the dead with celebrations and vivacious festivals. It is an ordinarily Latin American custom that consolidates indigenous Aztec customs with Catholicism. It was conveyed to the area by Spanish conquistadores.
According to the belief that the dead would be offended by grieving or bitterness, this Mexican festival praises the lives of the perished with sustenance, drink, gatherings, and exercises which the dead appreciated in life. Dia De Los Muertos perceives demise as a characteristic piece of the human experience, a continuum with birth, youth, and growing up to end up noticeably a contributing individual from the group. On the day of this festival, the dead are additionally a piece of the group, stirred from their everlasting rest to impart festivities to their friends and family.
The most well-known image of the Day Of the Dead might be the calacas or the skeletons and Calaveras or the skulls, which show up wherever amid the occasion: in sweetened desserts, as parade veils, as dolls. Calacas and calaveras are quite often depicted as getting a charge out of life, regularly in favor garments and engaging circumstances.
Where To Celebrate?
If you notice the name of the festival, you may feel that its morbid. Contrary to its literal meaning, this celebration is quite festive and cheerful. On the first day of November, Dia de los Angelitos(Day of Little Angels) or Día de los Inocentes(Day of the Innocents) is celebrated. On the second day of November, Día de los Muertos or Día de los Difuntos is celebrated. Here are some places where you might want to celebrate this festival-
Xcaret Park, Cancun
Xcaret Park celebrates this Mexican holiday with flamboyance and vibrancy. From #0th October to 2nd November, this festivity lasts in the park. Famous Mexicans singers come to perform at concerts. The whole place is decorated with marigold flowers. there are several games and activities for children. Notable singer and songwriter Aleks Syntek is going to perform at Xcaret this year.
San Gregorio Atlapulco, Xochimilco, Mexico City
If you want to go to a place with low-key celebration then the cemetery of San Gregorio Atlapulco would be the best place for you. The location is edgy and adds the dash of spookiness that this festival calls for. The place becomes full of fun and festivity at night.
Island Of Janitzio, Lake Patzcuaro, Michoacan
The Island Of Janitzio in Lake Patzcuaro is one of the most popular destinations for the celebration of this festival. Every year several thousands of people from all over the world come to Michoacan to witness this festival. The tribal Purepecha folks perform their traditional rituals at midnight.