• Jessica Martin

Día de los Muertos Fun Facts

I’m sure most of you have seen the movie “Coco” (or if you haven’t or want to watch it again Spanish Club is playing it in DeChantal during advisory on Thursday) and know that it is based around the Mexican tradition of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) where people celebrate their loved ones who have passed away. Most of you are probably familiar with the decorated skulls, marigold flowers, and alters filled with pictures and food, but now for some interesting facts you probably didn’t know! Día de los Muertos celebrations have been traced back to be 3,000 years old! It is believed that it was originally celebrated to honor Mictecacihuatl, the goddess of the underworld. These festivities were held in August, but Spanish Conquistadors wanted to make it a Christian holiday, so they moved it closer to the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, which are on the first and second of November. It is a bigger celebration than Christmas! Día de los Muertos is the main time of year where people in Mexico celebrate family, so there are numerous parades held to celebrate the Day of the Dead along with private family gatherings that require an endless amount of preparation. Monarch butterflies are considered to be ancestors coming to visit their families, which is a belief that is traced back to the Aztecs. I’m sure most of you know that monarch butterflies migrate from Canada and the United States to Mexico and South and Central America for the winter, and the people in Mexico believe these are their ancestors returning. There is special bread made just for the dead! Families make a sweet bread called “pan de muerto” which means “bread of the dead” and put it on the alter for their ancestors. Many families spend the night in graveyards! Spending the night eating, listening to music, and telling stories by a loved one’s grave is just another way they honor their deceased family members. If people fail to celebrate their family members on Día de los Muertos and their ancestors visit to see nothing there to honor them, they might get revenge by making their living family members sick which can sometimes result in death. (Here is your reminder to go tell your family members you love them) Source: https://www.deseret.com/2018/10/26/20635468/18-things-you-might-not-know-about-mexico-s-day-of-the-dead-celebrations