El Dia de los Muertos

Ever since I can remember El Dia de los Muertos, has always been an integral part of my life.  Being born in Mexico City has allowed me to appreciate and know my culture.  When I came to the United States in the 90's El Dia de los Muertos was not so well known here.  In recent years I have noticed the volume of growth in knowledge of our holiday and aspects of it within American society.  And I don't blame anybody for wanting to adopt El Dia del Los Muertos as a personal holiday.  The Day of the Dead lands on November 1st (for the adults) and November 2nd (for children).  El Dia de los Muertos is a holiday used in Mexican culture to remember our deceased loved ones.  Around this time you might see altars elaborately decorated with bright pinks, yellows, greens, reds, blues etc.  An important symbol of The Day of the Dead is La Calavera because it represents the spirit of the deseased.  La Calavera is usually made of sugar hence the name "sugar skulls".  Sugar skulls are also placed on the altar, their presence is necessary for it to be complete.  Grieving over the loss of a loved one is always depressing but El Dia de los Muertos makes you focus on the positive and never the negative.  I think my favorite thing besides the meaning of the holiday are the decorations. The symbols and use of color for The Day of the Dead have become widely adored and have served as inspiration to many.  If you practice a different culture don't be afraid to immerse yourself in others.  Culture is one of those beneficial things that allow us to grow by learning more about those who surround us.  So what are you waiting for?  Put up your altar!

Pictures courtesy of Claudia Contreras taken in Tlaquepaque Jalisco


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