Today across Latin America, including here in Mexico, families are celebrating the holiday of Día de los Muertos.
Translated “Day of the Dead,” one could be forgiven for thinking the day is a Latin version of Halloween. In fact, the two holidays are extremely different.
In our latest video, we take you right into the middle of an authentic Mexican Día de los Muertos celebration. There’s live music, dancing, costumes, vibrant cempasúchil (Aztec marigold flowers), and a projected light show on San Luis Potosí’s 400-year-old cathedral.
On Día de los Muertos, which is actually a multi-day holiday ending on November 2, Mexican families remember their loved ones who have passed away. They make altars with pictures of deceased family members, and set out ofrendas–offerings–like food, bottles of tequila, toys, and treasured items related to their loved ones.
On November 1, it is believed that the spirits of loved ones return. Mexican families go to cemeteries and sit by family members’ graves. They share a meal, sing, dance, and update the deceased about what has taken place over the past year. Rather than being morbid, there is a festive feeling in the air.
Whether we choose to believe any of this or not, it’s impossible to deny the beauty in remembering your loved ones and treating them with respect. All cultures would do well to share memories of family members with the newest generation, passing down stories and lessons.
It’s for this reason, as well as the vibrant sounds and sights of the holiday, that I’m so glad we’ve been able to experience Día de los Muertos in Mexico. In this coming week’s video, you’ll see even more of the holiday–this time in the magical town of Santa María del Río. Be watching for the video release on November 4!