Dia de los Muertos


Today, Dia de los Muertos is considered the most important holiday in Mexico. In 2008, UNESCO added it to the list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

Although death is the theme, there is no place for sadness, tears, or pain on Dia de los Muertos. On this day, it is believed that the souls of the dead return to their loved ones and visit them in this world. The days between October 31st and November 2nd  are filled with life-affirming joy and are celebrated with parades, with singing and dancing, with colours and costumes. The faces are artistically painted to resemble skulls (calaveras), people dress up as skeletons (calacas) or wear suits or fancy dresses. The living honour their deceased and pay them respect: they celebrate them with trips to the grave, with coloured flowers, with colourful parades, the deceased’s favourite food and tell stories from their lives and reminisce about beautiful moments. A focal point of the celebration is the altar or ofrenda, which is set up at home or in the cemetery. It is provided with water to quench the thirst after the long journey, food, a candle for each deceased, bright orange flowers and photos, and, for souls of dead children, toys. Special dishes such as Pan de Muerto (the bread of the dead) or sugar skulls are traditionally part of this festival.

The days are celebrated by all Mexicans, regardless of ethnic origin or religion. However, the origins go back to the indigenous people, Mayans and Incas, Aztecs and Toltecs. For them, death was a natural phase of life; the deceased were still considered part of the community and were remembered. Mourning the dead was considered disrespectful.

When Dia de los Muertos comes to an end, it is a temporary farewell, you look forward to the next meeting and in exactly one year the family will come together again, dead or alive.

The world is looking forward to welcoming you.