Day of the Dead is an interesting holiday celebrated in central and southern Mexico during the chilly days of November 1 & 2. Even though this coincides with the Catholic holiday called All Soul’s & All Saint’s Day, the indigenous people have combined this with their own ancient beliefs of honoring their deceased loved ones.
They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. Family members sit vigil in the cemetery throughout the night, so as to welcome the dead children’s spirits the moment they are released from heaven to come home to visit their parents. In graveyards, families clean the graves of their loved ones, and then decorate them with flowers, candles, photos, favorite food and drinks. The family also stays up all night telling funny stories about their dead ancestors. Musicians are hired to stroll through the graveyard playing the favorite songs of the dead. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.
A common symbol of the holiday is the skull, which celebrants represent in masks, and foods; such as sugar or chocolate skulls, which are inscribed with the name of the recipient on the forehead.
Have a spooktacular time with JNW’s Halloween Challenge! Enjoy!