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  • Writer's pictureMayte Sonnenberg

Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos, a day in dedication to the dead. It’s a well celebrated holiday amongst the latino community. It’s a holiday where you come together with the people you love and celebrate the lives of passed loved ones. Making ofrendas, cooking their favorite foods, decorating sugar skulls and most of all… being with family.

The holiday, or in this case, holidays, lasts from November 1st to November 2nd and has been celebrated this way for over 3,000 years. It was first celebrated by the Aztecs, who believed death was “an ever-present of life”. Upon death, they believed that the ones who passed were on their way to Chicunamictlán, The Land of the Dead. There are so many cultural factors that play into Día de los Muertos.

People celebrate Día de los Muertos in a great multitude of ways, whether it be in the comfort of your own home or going to the burial sight of your passed loved ones. You can really see Día De Los Muertos in its most original form in Mexico. The first day of Día de los Muertos is “Día de Los Angelitos”, specifically for the children who’ve passed, while its second day is “Día de los Difuntos”, specifically for the adults who passed away. However, the second day is also shared with “Día de los Muertos”, a celebratory evening where you celebrate the lives of everyone. Day of the Dead can be very emotional for the people who celebrate, but it's a good time for families to come together.

A big factor in Day of the Dead are the marigolds, Flor de Muerto, used to symbolize the Beauty and Fragility of life, they’re bright orange/yellow flowers that are used in so many different ways. You can use them to decorate one's Ofrenda, using the petals to form a pathway leading up to your ofrenda, to guide the spirits of your passed loved ones. The scent of the flowers are supposed to attract them.

You probably know Day of the Day mostly for the Ofrendas. Ofrendas means “offering(s)” in Spanish and it’s commonly visualized as a brightly wrapped table containing photos and food for your deceased family members, decorated with candles, skulls and, of course, Marigolds. It's a prime factor when celebrating this holiday, but of course there are still many other ways for people to celebrate.

Día de los Muertos is such a powerful, meaningful and spiritual holiday for people all over Latin America. It's a holiday where you honor the lives of people who you loved and cared for. It's truly an amazing holiday that everyone deserves to witness.

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