Dia De Los Muertos Is Not Your Halloween by Nuestra Hermana
As we all know, Halloween in America is right around the corner. Kids & adults alike will be dressed up in costumes, consuming candy, attending parties, navigating through haunted houses and thoroughly enjoying their night. Think about your last Halloween and look at the images above.
These are still shots of Dia De Los Muertos in Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, California & Arizona. They are small snippets of a vibrant, important and REAL holiday for Latin@s. This is not your Halloween.
Dia De Los Muertos developed out of over 2,500 years of indigenous ritual celebrating death and paying respects to loved ones who have passed away. Scholars state that the Aztecs originally held a month long festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl, the ruler of the afterlife.
After Spanish colonization and many attempts to eradicate the rituals & festival, a new merging with the Catholic holidays All Souls Day & All Saints Day developed over time to what is now Dia De Los Muertos.
Dia De Los Muertos is celebrated November 1st & 2nd (in alignment with All Saints Day & All Souls Day respectively). It is NOT celebrated on October 31st, it is not tied in with Halloween in America at all.
In Mexico, November 1st is dedicated as Dia De Los Inocentes, a day to honor and respect the innocents, children & infants to be more specific. November 2nd is Dia De Los Muertos, the day to honor deceased adults.
On these days, altars are made in honor of them. People build them on their loved ones graves, at home or anywhere they find rightful to honor their loved ones. They make ofrendas (offerings) to the dead of their favorite foods, toys (for children), pictures, pan de muertos, sugar skulls and many other things that help guide the spirits of the dead safely to the altars. Marigolds, known as the flowers of the dead, are usually prominent in the altars.
In Mexico, many people sleep overnight at the graves. Every ritual & altar is not the same everywhere. Many places have their own traditions and ways of honoring the dead. One thing is for sure, Dia De Los Muertos is not Halloween. It is a sacred time and holiday for Latin@s everywhere.
So, when you’re dressing up for Halloween remember: doing this, this, this or this is not only disrespectful but it is also a erasure of someone’s real life culture. Think before you walk out of that door.
STOP THE CRAP, EVERYONE, SERIOUSLY.
I bet some of you doesnt even had spent a nigth in the panteon, people fucking dink mezcal and slurp maruchans while tell jokes and family stories between each others all night, yes, its a “sacred” (because its based on an old prehispanic paganic rite) clebration, but we, mexicans celebrate with desmadre. Im mexican, I live in México and not in a latino neiborhood in the first world, or a big city, hell, i dont even live in a mexican city, I live in a town betwen corn crops were there’s not even a cinema in milles. And here, even when someone dies we throw a big as party with mole, where even in the mourning sesions we eat a lot of atole, bread and tamales.
Ok, now that I had shown my “credentials” let me show you someone special:
Do you know who this cool as balls man him?
Of course you dont.
He is Guadalupe Posada… does his name ring a bell? yes? no?
Well, let me show you his OC:
He is the intelectual mind behind of the catrina.
The catrina represents a big ass part of the Dia de muertos nowdays, its the carved pumking equivalent of the hollyday. Its a simbol of out heritage and culture, even she´s depicted in the OP images up there.
Do you know how it started?
As a cartoon.
The catrina is an alegory and a rude hoke from posada to the rich people in the country, the catrina its supoused to be a representation of the mexicans who didn’t like the mexican culture and adopted the foreing (mostly european and USA) cultures as their own, How ironic.
Also posada used to joke a lot with calaveras and a lot of “sacred” dia de muertos stuff.
Look, those calaveras are eating, drinking, dancing and doing a lot of desmadre!
Mexican traditions and more importantly the Dia de Muertos are about the joy of life, a laugh at the dead, eating our awesome cousine and remembering how we loved our desaed ones while we remember how awesome they were, thats the mexivcan way of showing our respects, not being sad, and serious and grumpy for people out there being interested in our country folklore.
Im very proud of my heritage, I love it, Im really sad for the state of my country Im really sad for the mexican stereotype of the lazy as mexican who sleeps all the time. And i feel proud every time a foreign country takes interest in our culture making a movie, or creating mexican characters for something, Its really cool when the word of our culture gets pread on the world, of course, our culture its not gonna be spread with all the not so fun stuff, but we can try to not act like a bunch of greedy douches who doesnt want anyone to touch or have a little aproach at our culture and be nice for once and try to spread our culture in a lot more nice ways.
Its not something bad if someone dress up like a catrina for a costume party, hell, Im a dude and I would love to do it for once, because im really proud of my heritage and this character who performs a great role in the mexican culture.
Lastly. I do live in Mexico I have an awesome bronze colored skin and Im sorry for my crappy Inglish if I have gramatical mistakes or if I didnt express myseld properly.