From pre Columbian times, El Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead has been celebrated in Mexico, and other Latin countries. This is a very special ritual, since it is the day in which the living remember their departed relatives. Following are common, mistaken ideas about the Day of the Dead celebration:
- El Dia de los Muertos is not the Mexican version of Halloween. Mexicans have celebrated the Day of the Dead since the year 1800 B.C.
- It is not scary or morbid. There are no pictures or images of dead people, ghosts, witches, or the devil.
- The Day of the Dead is not a cult. This ritual has nothing to do with cults. It is a Catholic Christian ritual intermixed with folk culture. Going to mass is an essential aspect of this celebration.
- It doesn’t honor death, but our dead relatives. We welcome the opportunity to reflect upon our lives, our heritage, our ancestors and the meaning and purpose of our own existence.
- Altars or ofrendas are not for worshiping but for offering our love and remembering our departed family members.
- It is not a sad ritual. It’s a day of happiness because we will be remembering our loved ones. Although when in the graveyard, people assume an introspective attitude.
- The Day of the Dead is about Love not Fear.
- It is not a “strange” ritual. It is very similar to going to a grave and leaving flowers or stuffed animals, lighting a candle to remember the deceased.
- It is not a careless or fearless confrontation of death.
- It is a moment to reflect upon one’s life and the cycle of life and death.
Read more about the Day of the Dead celebration visiting Inside Mexico.