El Día De Los Muertos
Posted: Fri, Nov 2, 2018 12:59 PM
Have you heard of El Día de los Muertos?
El Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a two day festival most commonly celebrated in Mexico, which sees people celebrating the life and love of friends and family who are deceased.
In recent years, the festival has gained popularity and elements of el Día de los Muertos, such as the sugar skulls, have been brought into mainstream Halloween celebrations. However, the Day of the Dead is not just the Mexican version of Halloween. The two celebrations, while both sharing the theme of death, have quite a different perspective. Halloween is about fear and mischief but el Día de los Muertos actually focusses on the celebration of life, honouring those who have died and expressing a hope to reconnect again.
In Mexico, people will celebrate by visiting cemeteries, decorating the graves and spending time with family members there. They also make decorated altars in their homes called ofrendas, to welcome the spirits. If you are creating an altar in your home, a few of the essential things you would need are candles, marigolds, a photo of your loved one(s), a sugar skull called calaveras, water, food and paper decorations called papel picado. You might also like to include things your loved one(s) enjoyed when they were alive.
There is a great deal of significance in the details behind el Día de los Muertos - from the marigolds laid on the ofrendas (the smell of which is believed to guide spirits home) to the colours used to decorate the sugar skulls or calaveras:
- Yellow represents the sun and unity because we are all equal under the sun.
- Purple represents the mourning that if felt by loved ones.
- Pink represents happiness.
- White represents the spirit and purity.
- Red depicts the blood of life.
- The flowers around the eyes symbolises life.
- The cobweb on the forehead symbolises death.
- The monarch butterfly represents the soul of the departed.
- The sugar skulls often have the name of the departed soul on their forehead.
El Día de los Muertos is a beautiful celebration of life and the hope that we will reconnect with our deceased loved ones again. If you would like to get involved and bring a little bit of el Día de los Muertos into your home, please download our free resource and design your own sugar skull bunting. We would love to see your creations - please share your pictures on our Facebook page!