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The Mass Media

Dia de Los Muertos festivities

A traditional Dia De Los Muertos drawing
A traditional Dia De Los Muertos drawing

In Latin American cultures, the day after Halloween is referred to as Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Although it is a Mexican holiday, Dia de Los Muertos has gained recognition all over the world. The celebration lasts for two days beginning on Nov. 1 and ending on Nov. 2.

Now one may think that this holiday is a version of Halloween, but it’s not. Dia de Los Muertos is a widely celebrated tradition that is believed to bring back the spirits of lost loved ones for the day.

Mexican families who celebrate Dia de Los Muertos do what they can to make this event a festive celebration of life after death as opposed to a day of grieving. Baked goods, snacks and other personal touches are placed on handmade altars to attract loved ones’ spirits to their homes and family.

A typical altar may include photos of the loved one alongside some of their belongings and favorite things. This can also include the “Ofrendas” or the Offerings, that are usually sugar skulls or a special decorative bread in bone shapes. This bread is called the “pan de muerto,” or Bread of the Dead. 

Dia de Los Muertos is a joyous holiday as spirits can now return to the living relatives left behind. This day is meant for celebrating the life of the deceased and as well as the continuance of their spirits after death. Dia de Los Muertos also embraces the fact that death is inevitable.

This celebration is not only for the ones who have passed away, but it is also for the living family members and friends as well. Neighbors and communities, dead or alive, are brought together on this occasion.

Celebrating Day of the Dead, though, is not constricted to only Latin American countries. There are many activities and festivals in states such as Arizona, New Mexico and California. While the majority of New England does not have many Dia de Los Muertos activities, there are some annual events as close as New York.

Interested in participating in the food aspect of Dia de Los Muertos? Visit the restaurant Tremont 647, located in downtown Boston close to the Back Bay Station. The restaurant’s website invites customers “to celebrate Dia de los Muertos with Chef Andy Husbands and the 647 team” on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. More information on tickets, transportation, and who to contact is available on www.tremont647.com.

The Day of the Dead can be celebrated by everyone, as it is a festivity to spend with others.