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Day of the Dead

Apr 22, 2016  ·  2 min read

By Melissa Twidale.

Dia de los Muertos, aka the Day of the Dead, is a 300 year old ritual that grows bigger and bigger every year. The day represents a time where souls of those who have passed to the underworld can come back to visit.

Dia de los Inocentes (November 1) honours children who have passed away, while Dia de los Muertos (October 31) honours the adult souls. Originally a Mexican holiday celebrated in Mexico, it’s not celebrated in various countries around the world, particularly the United States, where there is a significant Mexican population. The modern Mexican holiday can be traced back to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl.

Lively Day of the dead celebrations include masks, painted faces and really brightly coloured decorations. Sugar skulls remind us of the fact no matter what we are in life, in death we’re all the same – sound advice really. It’s part of a belief that birth and death are a continuum and assumes the dead would rather be celebrated for what they loved in life. Again – these guys might be on to something.

Some of the things that capture me about this holiday:

Souls of the Dead

People go to cemeteries to be with the souls of the departed and build private altars containing the favourite foods and beverages, as well as photos and memorabilia, of the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them.


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