Day of the Dead / Dia de Los Muertos is a celebration in Mexico and some other Latin American countries that honours and celebrates life and the loved ones who have passed on. Day of the Dead is a festive, colourful holiday where families visit cemeteries, to place flowers in the graves. It’s an especially festive day in Mexico. There might be parades, with people wearing costumes and faces painted like skulls. Children can paint their faces too! Although it is close to Halloween, don’t get them mixed up– they are two different holidays.
One of the most cherished rituals is creating a homemade altar called an offrenda. Some people believe that once a year, souls from the afterlife come and visit their families, at midnight. The altar welcomes them after their long journey to earth.
Papel picado (decorative papers)
Pan de muerto (a sweet bread)
Marigolds (flores de cempasúchil)
Plates of Food
Sugar skulls (calaveras), and skeletons (calacas)
Symbolizes death as part of life
A Glass of Water
A Photograph of the Family Member(s)
Day of the Dead is supposed to be happy holiday that celebrates the circle of life.
While Dia De Los Muertos is deeply rooted in Mexican culture and history, anyone interested in understanding and honouring these traditions forms part of the “community” that brings the festivities to life. As always, “community” here in Toronto includes not only those of Mexican, Latinx, or Indigenous heritage. Our LCCC families, staff and students have diverse backgrounds, so it’s a great to learn, converse about the importance of rituals, food, culture, and diversity.
As a “community” let’s celebrate the cultural diversity of our city on Día de Muertos together!