2 What is the day of the Dead? More than 500 years ago, when the Spanish Conquistadors landed in what is now Mexico, they saw native Indians practicing a ritual that seemed to mock death.
3 The Day of the DeadA ritual known today as Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, had been practiced by the local people at least 3,000 years.It is still celebrated in Mexico and certain parts of the USA.
4 What is The Day of The Dead? This ancient festivity has been changed throughout the years, but was originally intended to celebrate children and the dead.The best way to describe this Mexican holiday is to say that it is a time when Mexican families remember their dead, and the continuity of life.
6 When is the Day of the Dead? In the Aztec calendar, the Day of the Dead ritual fell roughly at the end of July and the beginning of August.The Spanish priests moved the ritual so that it came at the same time as the Christian holiday of Halloween (in Spanish: "Día de Todos Santos,")As a result the Mexicans now celebrate the Day of the Dead during the first two days of November rather than at the beginning of summer.
8 What happens in the celebrations? The day’s activities consist of visits by families to the graves of their close kin.At the gravesites family members start by sprucing up the gravesite, decorating it with flowers, setting out and enjoying a picnic, and interacting socially with other family and community members who gather at the cemetery.Families remember the departed by telling stories about them.
9 What happens at the celebrations? The meals prepared for these picnics are sumptuous, usually featuring meat dishes in spicy sauces, a special egg-batter bread, cookies, chocolate, and sugary confections in a variety of animal or skull shapes.Gravesites or family altars are decorated with large, bright flowers such as marigolds and chrysanthemums and adorned with religious jewelry and (in smaller villages) with offerings of food, cigarettes and alcoholic drinks.
12 What happens in the celebrations? The Day of the Dead is a time for the dead to return home and visit loved ones, feast on their favorite foods and listen to their favorite music.In the homes, family members honor their deceased with ofrendas or offerings which may consist of photographs, bread, other foods, flowers, toys and other symbolic offerings.