F, 18, is a Mexican student at USC. He is from Ciudad Juarez, a city in Mexico that borders El Paso, Texas. F told me about the Mexican festival called Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead.
Every November 2nd, I celebrate with my family a popular Mexican tradition called “Día de Muertos”. This day is celebrated to remember the people that have passed away. We put together an altar in which we include pictures of the people we remember along with objects that reminds us of them. An example is that we put a picture of my grandfather and a book as he loved reading. This tradition helps us stay in touch with our loved ones and remember that they are with us every step of the way.
Día de Muertos is a traditional Mexican festival that happens yearly on November 2nd. It aligns with many other death-related celebrations such as All Souls Day or Halloween because of the life cycle calendar. Many cultures celebrate death around fall and winter, as they symbolize death and the end of a cycle. Then, in spring, the cycle starts anew and begins with fertility and birth celebrations. In this tradition, it is believed that the Day of the Dead is a liminal period in which the dead can visit their living relatives, this liminal period creates a space for magic and festivities that fit outside of the norm. In this traditional festival, people leave objects that the deceased enjoyed during their lifetime on the altar, so they can take joy in them once more.