Dia de los Muertos—the Day of the Dead—is a holiday celebrated on November 1.

Although marked throughout Latin America, Dia de los Muertos is most strongly associated with Mexico, where the tradition originated.

Dia de los Muertos honors the dead with festivals and lively celebrations, a typically Latin American custom that combines indigenous Aztec ritual with Catholicism, brought to the region by Spanish conquistadores. (Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on All Saints Day and All Souls Day, minor holidays in the Catholic calendar.)

Assured that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life. Dia de los Muertos recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and growing up to become a contributing member of the community. On Dia de los Muertos, the dead are also a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share celebrations with their loved ones.

Photo Credit: Nelda Costner 
Via National Geographic "Ladies of Oaxaca "

The most familiar symbol of Dia de los Muertos may be the calacas and calaveras (skeletons and skulls), which appear everywhere during the holiday: in candied sweets, as parade masks, as dolls. Calacas and calaveras are almost always portrayed as enjoying life, often in fancy clothes and entertaining situations.


Responses to "Indigenous Origins of the Day of the Dead, Versus Halloween (VIDEO)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    very educational (for me) thanx...not afraid to use my name only had to by pass crap at bottom...thanx from Sharyn wisdom..

  2. Sheena says:

    Thank you for the video and all the references!!

  3. Dia de los muertos takes place on November 2nd ;)

  4. Unknown says:

    It depends, kariecakes. El Día has been cited as being celebrated on different dates or inclusive dates; October 31- November 2, November 1&2, or November 1 or 2. That is, since it was moved to coincide with Roman Catholic traditions from the Summer, when it was originally celebrated. :)

  5. Thank you. This was the most accurate, yet simple, description of Dia de Los Muertos I have seen or heard. We have lived in the Huesteca for almost 20 years and visited many villages to participate in these lovely events. What you have said is what I have always heard and seen.

  6. Paloma says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH.. shows such love and passion. Victoria Ryan, Patzcuaro

  7. Unknown says:

    Gracias, very ineresting and imformative. Well done

  8. Anonymous says:

    Can you please post the names of those books for me please , I think they will make great gifts for my dad :) . Something for his country would be a great gift :)

  9. bcb says:

    excellent and have re posted for other folk to view.

  10. Zelda Fripp says:

    wonderful video... I would also like you to research Halloween a bit more. Perhaps you know this, but Halloween is not a Christian holiday. It actually dates back to the Celtic cultures in Ireland and Scotland. All Saints Day and All Souls day were a Catholic attempt to obliterate the indigenous culture of the Irish Isles. that is perhaps an oversimplification... but there is plenty of information on the internet. Thank you for sharing this wonderful video with us. And may your holiday be safe and happy and fun!

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