Amazing Kids! Magazine

Day of the Dead (El dia de los Muertos)

By Isabella, Poetry Editor

 

Day of the Dead is a 3,000 year old ritual celebrated in Mexico, Guatemala and some parts of the United States as a way to honor the dead.  This ancient Aztec celebration uses skulls to represent death and rebirth. They believed that their ancestors came back to visit during this celebration. Death is a continuation of life that should be celebrated.

Typically, Day of the Dead begins at midnight on October 31 and continues until November 2. Today, Day of the Dead is celebrated by placing wooden skulls on alters dedicated to the dead as well as placing the name of the dead on sugar skulls that are often eaten by a friend or relative. Dances with the wooden skulls are often performed during this time. Families will also visit the graves of those relatives who have passed on and decorate their gravesites.  Flor de muerto (flower of the dead ) also known as marigolds are used as decorations to attract souls of the dead to their offerings.

Additionally, a special bread of the dead, Pan de Muertos that contains a tiny skeleton inside, will be eaten during this time along with the favorite foods of the departed one.  Day of the Dead is a wonderful ritual that praises and rejoices the dead and their life.  The holiday gathers family to pray and remember members of their family who have passed away.  It is a time to become aware of the cycles of life and death and honor our beloved ones.