How do you explain Dia de los Muertos?

Da de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration of life and death. While the holiday originated in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America with colorful calaveras (skulls) and calacas (skeletons).

How do you celebrate Dia de los Muertos at home?

Altars are usually decorated with flowers, candles, pan de muerto, ceramic skulls, and most importantly pictures of loved ones.Food placed on the altar consists of the loved ones favorite dishes and treats.Drinks should be placed in the altar to quench the thirst of the dead after their long journey back home.

What are the 4 elements of the Day of the Dead?

Every ofrenda also includes the four elements: water, wind, earth and fire. Water is left in a pitcher so the spirits can quench their thirst. Papel picado, or traditional paper banners, represent the wind. Earth is represented by food, especially bread.

What foods are eaten on Dia de los Muertos?

In Mexico traditional Da de los Muertos foods include pan de muerto and sugar skulls which are also used as ofrendas for the altars and tamales, champurrado (thick hot chocolate), moles, etc.

What happens to the food after Dia de los Muertos?

Food is, as with any celebration, an integral part of the Día de los Muertos celebration. But food as an ofrenda is offered for the aroma, it is not believed that the foods are used or consumed by the spirits. The foods are eaten or given away by the living later, after their essence has been consumed.

Why do we offer food to the dead?

By offering food to the departed, family members have made food as a symbol of sustaining life even after death. All Souls’ Day has also become an occasion for family reunions.

What do families do during cemetery visits on Dia de los Muertos?

When families do visit cemeteries, one of the first things they do after cleaning up is to place Day of the Dead flowers. Known in Spanish as cempasúchil and more widely known as marigolds, the scent of the flowers are thought to guide the departed back to earth and contact with their loved ones.

What are typical offerings for Dia de los Muertos?

In the homes, family members honor their deceased with ofrendas or offerings which may consist of photographs, bread, other foods, flowers, toys and other symbolic offerings. Altars may contain all hand-made items or ones that have been purchased.

What do the three steps of an ofrenda represent?

An altar with two steps represents the earth and sky. With three steps, the altar depicts purgatory, earth, and heaven, or the Holy Trinity. The true masterpieces are the altars with seven steps.

How is Dia de los Muertos different from Halloween?

One major distinction is that Halloween is only one night, whereas the Day of the Dead is actually a three-day event that is just getting starting on Oct. 31. Halloween is short for All Hallows Eve, the night before All Saints’ Day, a Catholic celebration commemorating saints and martyrs.

How old is Halloween?

Ancient Origins of Halloween Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

Is Dia de los Muertos a religious holiday?

Dia de los Muertos has its origins in Aztec traditions honoring the dead. Though both Christian, these traditions have different religious calendars, and honor saints and holy days in different ways. All Saints Day and All Souls Day are more important in the Catholic calendar than the Protestant calendar.

Is Halloween a Mexican holiday?

Halloween is an observance and not a federal public holiday in Mexico.

Did Halloween start in Mexico?

In Mexico, customs originating in Europe and the indigenous world often meld in a surprisingly seamless fashion. So it is with Halloween, a tradition born in Europe and transported here from the United States, and Day of the Dead, a Mexican remembrance of the deceased with pre-Hispanic origins.

What do Mexicans build to honor the deceased?

Traditions connected with the holiday include building home altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using calaveras, aztec marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.

What is trick or treating called in Mexico?

Mi Calaverita

Can Catholics celebrate Halloween?

Catholics most certainly celebrate Halloween. In fact it is a Christian holyday. Look at its name in English — All Hallows Eve. That is it is the evening before a solemnity — the highest class of a religious day.