El Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrated on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. This is a joyous occasion when the memory of deceased ancestors and the after life is celebrated. It is believed that at this time the souls of the departed return to visit the living, as well as bring good luck to their families. It is a time to remember family and friends who have died. It is a very colorful and joyful occasion.
Traditions are celebrated by the families visiting gravesites, where they clean and decorate the graves with flowers, food, candles, colorful skulls and toys.
Families will often bring a picnic to eat at the gravesite and bring the favorite foods and drinks of the deceased, as offerings. They build private altars adorned with flowers and photos to honor the deceased. The skeleton represents the spirit that still lives on. The families decorate or bring sugar cubes decorated to look likesmall sugar skulls. They share memorable stories of the departed.
In many large cities they often have parades with horses, dancers and musicians. Latino artists from all over the country come to exhibit and sell their art pieces. This community event has grown into a yearly cross-cultural event and is observed in Mexico, United States and Canada. The vendors sell sugar skulls, candy coffins, paintings, crafts, and other “Day of the Dead” treats. It is not a morbid occasion, but rather a festive time.
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Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI
Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900