The Day of the Dead in Mexico

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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Imagine having a brightly colored ( Especially marigold) altar called an Ofrenda, with pictures of your departed loved ones and a hat, article of clothing or a loved shawl that dead relative loved. And at the exact same time, it also may have food and drinks you are offering them. Once you are finished with this tradition they go to the graveyard and light candles by their graves. After that, you replace the flowers on their graves with new flowers that they bring with them.

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This is what you would do if you celebrated Day of the Dead in Mexico.

During Day of the Dead people of Mexico have an important tradition of making an Ofrenda. Making an Ofrenda during Day of the Dead is a way to honor their dead ( departed ) family and friends. The Ofrenda ( altar ) may include a loved article of clothing, a hat, or perhaps a loved shawl of their deceased relatives. When they briefly visit them on earth the people are sometimes offered Tamales. This a food from Mexico that includes a mixture of meat, spices, and cornmeal wrapped in cornhusks and drizzled in mole which is a type of sauce made from chocolate, nuts, and tomatoes. According to Diane Hoyt- Goldsmith the author of Day of the Dead she says that ” They also sometimes offer a special drink called Atole,” This day is important to Mexicans so that they may feel closer to their departed loved ones by decorating an Ofrenda.

After the Ofrenda tradition, they wrap it up by going to the graveyard. When they go to the graveyard most people take flowers and candles. Once they arrive at the graveyard where their loved one(s) were buried they remove the flowers that are there and renew them with the news they brought. Once they finish doing that they light candles and decorate some of the graves with skeletons. Then they feast near their loved one(s) graves. In order to have the feast, they must save some of their money all through the year. As seeing all these important traditions you now know that Day of the Dead has many important traditions.

Day of the Dead and US Halloween can compare and contrast. They are different because Day of the Dead is a way to honor the dead. According to ” Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated each year on October 31. It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts… ” But both holidays are similar because they both involve costumes, skeletons, and treats. Although they are different they are also similar and both include death imagery and graveyard. So as you can use Halloween and Day of the Dead are very similar and different.

As you may see Day of the Dead is a special holiday so that people from Mexico may feel closer to their departed loved ones. From the Ofrenda to going to the graveyard every tradition is very valuable. I think that Day of the Dead is a holiday that makes people excited about feeling closer to your loved ones. When at the same time it is also about making the departed loved ones happy also. This holiday is one of the biggest holidays in Mexican culture and always will be!

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The Day of the Dead in Mexico. (2020, Jan 10). Retrieved from