In Mexico,Día de Todos los Santos – also known as All Saints’ Day – and Día de Muertos – also known as Day of the Dead or All Souls’ Day – are much bigger than Halloween. Many families enjoy special gatherings at cemeteries and altars are set up in homes to honor the dearly departed. Markets and shops in every corner of Mexico sell toys and candy representing ghoulish symbols like skeletons,coffins and the personification of death itself (La Muerte),while candles,wreaths and seasonal flowers are also popular.
“Altars are adorned with food and drinks (ofrendas),photos,candles,flowers and candy skulls inscribed with the name of the deceased,” wrote TimeandDate.com. “Incense sticks are lit to help the departed find their way.”
According to some traditions,it is believed that the souls of children return to the world of the living each year on All Saints’ Day,followed by visits from adult spirits on Nov. 2. The departed children are often referred to as angelitos (little angels),so this day is also sometimes known as El Día de los Angelitos (Day of Little Angels).
“All Saints’ Day is an observance and not a federal public holiday in Mexico,” wrote TimeandDate.com. “Streets and roads around cemeteries may be particularly busy in some towns and cities.”
Día de Todos los Santos in Mexico is held the day after Halloween in the United States. As the name suggests,it is also a time to remember and honor all the saints and martyrs from Christian history.
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Historically,All Souls’ Day,or Día de Muertos comes from a Catholic tradition where churches commemorate the dead by praying for their everlasting souls. Traditional rituals include visiting family graves and remembering the deceased. If you are living in Mexico,however,this Christian holiday takes on a new life by assimilating rituals from the Pagan holiday Samhain,as well as a number of ancient Mexican traditions that are used to celebrate and remember dead ancestors.
“Mexico’s Day of the Dead is not a time to be scared,” wrote TimeandDate.com. “It is a festive occasion with parties,dancing,singing and even fireworks!”
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