Day of the Dead (spanish translation - Dia de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday that is celebrated throughout Mexico (obviously) and in several other cultures and or/ countries. The holiday entails gatherings of family and/or friends to pray for and honor loved ones that have passed away. It is celebrated on November 1st, the day before the Catholic holiday, All Saints’ Day.
Celebrations typically include personal altars that family or friends put together to honor their departed. You may have seen images of altars with pictures, marigolds, sugar skulls, and the deceased’s favorite foods. Some like to light candles and pray, then take the items to build the altar at their loved one’s grave.
The holiday is now celebrated in numerous parts of the world that include the following:
- Brazil - the holiday is known as “Dia de Finados” - a public holiday where Brazilians visits cemeteries and churches.
- Spain - the holiday is celebrated with parades and festivals that end with prayer at the cemetery.
- United States - in many American communities made up of mostly Mexican residents, the celebrations are very similar to those that take place in Mexico. A lot of these traditions have turned into artistic or political statements. Sugar skulls have become a fashion trend and a business opportunity for many crafty individuals (just check out Etsy.com).
- **In other countries across Europe or Latin America, this holiday is similarly celebrated on November 2, All Saints’ Day, where individuals observing visit cemeteries to pray for dead loved ones.
Tip: Use our Spanish Flowers tableware ensemble to add color to your guests’ buffet. Flip the plates around and challenge young attendees to draw their own sugar skull design. Skull designs are so diverse and can becomes such a fun creative contest!