Dia De Los Muerto, the Day of the Dead, is a formal holiday celebrated throughout regions of Mexico where it originated from October 31 – November 2 (All Saints and All Souls Day), each year. The funeral related industries throughout the world have started dropping the word “celebrate or celebration of life” to replace the word funeral. But nowhere is there more a celebration of life and death then in these communities in Mexico over this formal holiday period.
Historical sources indicate this celebration to be more than 3,000 years old dating back to the Aztecs and possibly first witnessed by the Conquistadors 500 years ago. There are reports that there were attempts to end the event – that was not successful and has evolved over the years.
Foremost to this celebration is visiting of the graves of deceased family members. In some areas, bones are removed from graves and cleaned, while others spend the day honoring their loved ones with food and activities that the deceased enjoyed in life. Today many outside the Hispanic community embrace this feeling of celebration. Museum exhibits are observed throughout the US and other countries. A way to help people understand the culture not just of death and dying but of honor and respect for those who have died. The movie “Coco” that premiered last year, was a good way for children of “all” ages to understand the life and death cycle that so many today say is denied. Let’s take a moment to remember that we all have the capability to remember, honor and acknowledge our dead. Not just on special designated dates but throughout the year.