Honoring the Dead: Día de Muertos

Nathan Fulford, Staff Reporter

Sometimes it is hard for someone to grieve over the loss of a friend or family member; it can hurt a lot and be hard to get over. There is one certain holiday that helps celebrate the life of that person and helps you grieve for them. This holiday is known as The Day of the Dead, but is also known in Spanish as Día de Muertos. This holiday is not a single day event, beginning on Oct. 31 and ending on Nov. 2.

There may be many questions you have about this holiday, and some may be what it is, how it is celebrated, what items and food are involved and other honorable mentions. This holiday is very colorful and has quite a bit of life-affirming joy in it. The holiday may have the theme of death, but it actually is about love and respect for the deceased ones. The costumes and offerings to the deceased ones altars are quite special, especially since the people that we are celebrating are deceased.

The lively celebrations, parties and the colorful makeup is special in Día de Muertos. The deceased are insulted by the mourning and sadness, so the color, parties and joyful feelings in Día de Muertos is a happy and special way to honor and celebrate the dead ones.

In Spanish the iconic items of this holiday are calacas and calaveras. Translated as skeletons and skulls in English, these iconic items appear everywhere during the holiday. Candied sweets, parade masks and dolls are also used as items during Día de Muertos. Something that you may notice is fancy clothing and all kinds of entertainment like parties, bands and parades. Dead ancestors and family members are special guests during this wonderful holiday.

And since the deceased ones are the guests during Día de Muertos, there are lots of things that people do when the holiday arrives. Firstly, the people setup a candlelit altar in their own homes, so that the spirits of the deceased can find their way back to their relatives. Items that are placed on their altars are food, important objects that the dead person had while alive and then a big party is setup at the altar. People have a big feast while they clean tombstones, sing songs and play music. They can talk to their ancestors during this time.

The holiday of Día de Muertos is very special to lots of people. Celebrating the dead this way helps with mourning and grieving so you know the person who is deceased, like a friend, or a relative, is content.

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