El Día de los Muertos – Day of the Dead





El Día de los Muertos is a longs standing Mexican tradition/holiday that takes place in central and southern Mexico on November 1st and 2nd. The belief stands that on the 31st of October the gates of the heavens open, letting the dead back to earth. The first two days of November are used to celebrate their existence. This comes in the form of large festivals that contain art showcases, performances, food, stories, dancing and much more.

According to the informant, this holds a special significance for him because he has lost many people in his life, including family. This acts a cathartic two days where he and his friends/family bask in the nostalgia of their loved ones. He says its also a time for self expression. Artists from all other take the thematics of the festival, including the skull and finds new and decorate ways to present them.

My Thoughts:

Without knowing much of what this festival stands for, it could easily be mistaken for some sort of carnival or halloween event or possibly some freak show. Once one understands its purpose though, it becomes a very meaningful event. To us Americans this sort of thing is non existent. We do have holidays of course, but not one with such a sense of heavy handedness. That is celebrating the loss of loved ones. I can imagine that it is very therapeutic for the people as a whole.