Day of the Dead, the famous Mexican holiday, takes place during the first couple of days in November- and has absolutely no relation to Halloween. Despite Hollywood forcing the ideology that the Mexican festival was simply an interpretation of Halloween, this festival is actually a tribute to the afterlife- and a reminder that there is no reason why one should be afraid of death. Precisely the reason why families have been spreading bulks of marigold petals or bringing out candles for their loved ones who have left the land of the living.
Day Of The Dead: A Day For Honoring The Deceased
The Day of the Dead has been a traditional festival in Mexico for over a millennium. Historically, skulls were a big symbol in Aztec culture, and more than a few were used as a tribute to the goddess of death, Mictecacihuatl. In order to properly celebrate this holiday, most artisans spent quite some time turning hot water, sugar, and lime into sugar paste that would remind one of caramel- before they ended up molding it into treats that were shaped like skulls into various sizes. The treats were then decorated with several other accessories, like multi-colored foil, and feathers. While Calaveritas are usually more edible, most people simply use them for decoration.
The Day of the Dead also leads to the installation of multi-level memorials which were set up in schools, homes, and public places as a tribute to those who had departed. The various levels installed represented the three planes- the underworld, Earth, and heaven. A large picture of the deceased was usually placed at the apex of the altar with Papel Picado.
During the Day of the Dead, most people usually flock to the cemeteries throughout, to visit the graves of their deceased relatives and loved ones. But they would not be empty-handed or in mourning. After the cleansing of the graves, they would then adorn them with flowers and petals.