Mexican and American cultures intertwined. Halloween and Día de Los Muertos is an example of how the two cultures come together, however these holidays are quite different. Dia de los Muertos is a time to honor and celebrate deceased loved ones. The celebration starts on November 2 in connection with All Soul’s Day. Unlike Halloween, which is characterized by goblins, witches, and the occult, Day of the Dead, was celebrated by the Aztecs to honor the memory of the dead. This 3,000-year-old ritual fell on the ninth month of the Aztec Solar Calendar, which is the beginning of August and celebrated for a whole month. The “Lady of the Dead” or goddess Mictecacihuatl died at birth, but believed it was her spirit who officiated the celebration.
Things to do if you want to take part in celebrating:
- Build an altar with lots of marigold flowers or flowers in season
- Photographs of your deceased loved ones on an altar
- Food and drink that reminds you of them
- Candles on the altar to be lit during your celebration
- Their favorite music
- Tell stories of the deceased