Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated from October 31st through November 2nd as a way to welcome back the spirits of loved ones whom have passed on. Unlike funerals I have attended in America, it is far from a somber event and it really is a celebration.
The history of Dia de Los Muertos can be dated back to the Aztec celebration of Mictecacihuatl, the Queen of the underworld. After the colonization of Mexico, the celebration changed, the dates and rituals altered, but the commemoration is unmatched.
People set up altars and decorate the cemeteries as parades fill the marigold lined streets. The city is alive all day and night. It was such an honor to speak with locals as they decorated their altars with photos of their family members going back so many generations. They placed photographs alongside flowers, food, and drink, sugar skulls in these intricately designed ofrendas (alters), each with a personal touch. You could feel the love, respect, and joy of their departed loved ones in a way I have never experienced before.
It made me stop and think, would people be less afraid of their own death if they knew that their families would be honoring them for generations to come.
See you there next year?