October 27, 2011 3:47:51 PM PDT
Growing up in Santa Fe, I was at least somewhat familiar with the celebration of Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. A Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos honors departed friends and family members in a festive spirit with elaborately decorated sugar skulls, and altars housing the favorite foods of, and offerings for the deceased. As far as I understand it, celebrations do not take on a somber tone, but rather are meant to remember happy times with loved ones, and celebrate their life.
According to Wikipedia, this holiday has its origins in Aztec culture, although today Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, corresponding to the Catholic holidays of All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day. In Mexico, November 1st is sometimes called “Dia de los Angelitos” (“Day of the Little Angels”), and specifically honors deceased infants and children, with November 2nd being the time to remember adults who have passed away. What is very interesting to me, is that there are also similar celebrations throughout the world that honor the dead during this time of year.
I know of at least a couple of people who plan to visit Mexico to celebrate the Day of the Dead- will you be there? Do you celebrate this holiday, or one like it?