Posted by: Hil | November 3, 2008

Dia de Los Muertos

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I have a confession to make.  I don’t really like Halloween.  I’ve lost my taste for candy over the years and I have never been a fan of the spooky, creepy stuff.  I do, however, love Dia de Los Muertos. 

Technically, Dia de Los Muertos happened over the weekend, but the celebration at my school  happened today.  Dia de Los Meurtos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday that honors the memory of loved ones who have passed away.  Dia de los Muertos came about as the fusion of an ancient Aztec holiday with the Catholic holidays All Saints Day and All Souls Day.  On the holiday, celebrants build altars where they place pictures and mementos of deceased loved ones, along with flowers, food, and candles.  There is lots of eating and drinking of traditional foods.  Many people make pan de muerto (a delicious brioche-like sweet bread) and decorate skulls made out of spun sugar.  People reminisce and tell funny stories about their loved ones.  The tone is joyous and not the least bit spooky.

I love this holiday.  I love the food and the color and the reminder that death is not scary or evil.  I love digging my teeth into a piece of pan de muerto and taking a moment to reflect on the lives the people that I love and miss.  There is comfort in knowing that everyone around me is experiencing the same bittersweet emotions.

I would like to open the comments section here as a place to share memories.  If you would like to, please feel free to leave a name, an anecdote, a quote, a story, or something that reminds you of your loved one.  If you would rather comment anonymously, that’s fine.

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Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing such a unique festive event, that to be honest, I have never heard of prior to this post!

    The subtle things in my life remind me of my Grandma. The random things that occur capture snippets and memories of the times her and I shared. There really isn’t a day that goes by that the thought her her doesn’t pass my mind. But in the end, I smile at the times we shared together and the fond memories we created.

  2. this is such a sweet post and really made me contemplate on the importance of that day

  3. Such a lovely post, Hil. I always think about the times I spent with my grandmother, great-uncle, dog; and even though these memories are bittersweet, they’re wonderful all the same.

  4. While I also dislike Halloween (dressing up? talking to strangers? not for me…) it does bring about one really good set of memories for me.

    Every year before Halloween, my grandfather would come over with a giant pumpkin for us to carve. He made a huge production out of it. We always had a lot of fun carving, and then mom would toast the pumpkin seeds with kosher salt. Halloween always makes me think of those great times with my grandfather

  5. This is not something I am familiar with, so thanks for sharing.

  6. another new thing i learnt today. thank you.

  7. Thank you to everyone who shared memories. You brought tears to my eyes. I lost my grandfather a few months ago, and it’s still hard for me to believe that he’s gone. One of my favorite family photos is of me and my grandpa at a pumpkin patch. I was about two, and I was struggling to carry this tiny pumpkin. My grandpa was standing next to me carrying a big pumpkin. He was wearing this bright orange turtleneck, and, being a very big, round person, looked a lot like a pumpkin himself. I love that picture. It’s a very happy memory.

  8. […] All Saint’s Day, everybody.  I hope you are all enjoying the beginning the the Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities.  Dia de Los Muertos is a traditional Latin American holiday […]


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