Don't be afraid of El Dia de los Muretos -
the Day of the Dead. This is a happy holiday!
This ancient holiday began as a day of
thanks for the harvest. It became a time put aside to remember our
ancestors and people we love who have died.
On the first day, relatives put flowers on graveyards
or in vases with cards. Then they create an alter somewhere in the house.
These alters are not places of worship. They serve the same purpose as a
scrapbook or a photo album. Pictures of the departed, along with favorite
loved objects and other mementoes are placed on the alter. The rest of
this day is spent making the favorite foods of this person (or persons.)
On the second day, families have big celebrations at
their homes. They serve the food they made the day before. They eat
candies shaped like skeletons. Friends stop by and people dance and sing.
This is a very happy holiday.
On the third day, the holiday expands to the town.
There may be parades and floats and costumed characters. Coffins are
carried that have people in them dressed in skeleton outfits.
Many superstitions have been added over the years,
but for the most part, this ancient holiday is as it always was - a time
of remembrance and love. So, don't be afraid of the Day of the Dead. This
is a happy holiday.
Presentations in PowerPoint format about The Day of the Dead
of the Dead mini-unit
of the Dead Mini-Unit
Download - Education Packet for Day of the Dead
to make Calacas with play dough
- Make a paper-mache skull
to Mexican Art and Culture: "Day of the Dead"