Ancient Roots, Modern Holidays for Kids - Day of the Dead
For Kids: 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.