What is Dia de Los Muertos?
Orginally, Dia de Los Muertos was a celebration where the Indigenous populations mocked death. The Spaniards tried unsuccessfully to eradicate this celebration. Instead this day became a hybrid of indigenous beliefs and Catholic theology which resulted in the addition of this day to the Catholic calender (although it is not an official Holy Day). Specifically, it falls in conjunction with All Soul’s Day and All Saint’s Day (which are Holy Days of Obligation).
All Saint’s Day begins on Novemeber 1st. Unfortunately, this celebration has been muted by the grandeur commonly associated with the Big Day of Sugar Skulls. It should be known that this day is just as important Dia de Los Muertos (All Soul’s Day). In many Spanish speaking countries, it is commonly called Dia de los Angelitos.
All Saint’s Day is meant to celebrate the loss and life of children, infants, martyrs, and Saints. On this day and the one following it, prayers are given to show favor for those still trapped in Purgatory, prayers for those who are in Heaven, and prayers for those left behind.
November 2nd is All Soul’s Day also known as Dia de Los Muertos. This is the day to remember your loved ones, to acknowledge and celebrate their accomplishments, their life, and their memories.
Dia de Los Muertos is not Halloween.
It is a separate entity all by itself. It is a celebration entrenched in religious belief whether Catholic or Indigenous. It is important to understand that this day is meant for celebration. It is not meant to be morbid.
Rather, it is a celebration of life and love.
Dia de Los Muertos is a way to celebrate our past while moving forward to our future.Together, we can mock death and live our lives knowing that we will never be forgotten.
This is part one is a series about Dia de Los Muertos.