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Celebration of Dia de Los Muertos

Photo By: Unsplash

Dia de Los Muertos is a traditional celebration on Nov. 1-2. It is observed in Mexico and in other places that share rich Mexican heritage. This includes countries such as Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala and Haiti, which all have a Day of the Dead. Those days are dedicated to the people who have sadly died but are still alive in the memories of their families. 

The people who celebrate this holiday believe that the spirits of the dead return home for those two days to spend time with their relatives who are still alive. The families of the deceased build altars to welcome and honor those who passed away. They celebrate by putting ofrendas, which can be translated to offerings that are placed on the altars. To start an ofrenda, a table needs to be wrapped with a decorative cloth. Families then decide what to put on the tables to make it unique to them. Most of the items on the tables are photos of the deceased relatives, sweets, candles, decorations, and their favorite foods. As they believe that the dead come those two days, they try to provide the best things for them. Having their relative’s pictures on the altar symbolizes that they have not been forgotten. The candle is considered purifying and is considered to guide the spirits. Decorations are also present to showcase the celebration. They even put skulls and flowers, such as yellow marigolds, on the tables as decorations.  

 Whenever I think of Dia de Los Muertos, I remember the movie Coco. This celebration can be fully appreciated in the film because it shows how this day is celebrated in Mexico for the most part. The movie presents most of the beliefs that the families have and gives a glimpse of what it feels like for the dead when their families put on the ofrendas. In the movie, a little boy named Miguel enters the world of the deceased after confronting his family and their hate for music. During his stay in the world of the dead, he meets his dead relatives and uncovers family secrets as to why music is prohibited in his family. During his visit, Miguel understands why it is so important that families put pictures of their loved ones in the offerings, as it is the only way that they are not forgotten.  

I wanted to mention this movie because it gives a glimpse of the representation of Dia de Los Muertos, and it can help others understand the meaning behind this celebration. Although it is considered a kid’s movie, it serves as a visual representation of why we must respect the beliefs of different cultures. We might not know or understand the significance of a special event, but we must respect it. It is an act of kindness and empathy to put ourselves in the shoes of others and see why it is essential for them.  

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