Day of the dead(Spanish: Dia de los muertos) is a Mexican holiday traced back to a pre-Columbian past. It focuses on gatherings of family and friends to celebrate friends and family who have passed away.
It is an annual event that starts on the 31st of October. On this day they prepare for the main celebration. They:
- Buy marigolds(flowers for the festival)
- Sugar skulls
- Spicy sauce(mole – Spanish) and grasshoppers
- a type of incense
- decorated paper
- The deceased children’s toys
- favorite food
- candles-that lit a path for the souls of the deceased.
- pictures of the deceased
- wear costumes
All these items were used to decorate an altar in reverence of the deceased. The altar is built in the cemetery after the tombs were cleaned up, made up of 3 steps, the first one signifies hell, the second- earth and the third- Heaven.
On the 1st of November(All Saint’s Day),Mexicans believe the kids that gave up the ghost come back and eat their favorite food and play with their toys. People celebrate all night long.
The next day,the 2nd of November, the adults that kicked the bucket, return and do the same thing.
At the end of the day, they clean up and bid their lost ones farewell till the next year. Mexicans do not fear death, instead they see it as a joyful situation.Instead of weeping at their loss, they celebrate them. Some other countries have adopted this custom.