While typically Mexican, Dia de Muertos is slowly but surely becoming a global celebration. Some of the most iconic aspects of this unique holiday are being embraced around the world, with more and more people looking to join in the tradition. With that in mind, today we bring you some Dia de Muertos activities so you can celebrate no matter where you are.
Dia De Muertos Activities
Dia de Muertos is marked by various activities focused on honoring the lives of the departed with a characteristic display of joy — and even some humor.
Building an Altar
One of the most popular Dia de Muertos activities is building an altar in honor of your loved ones.
The altar is usually decorated with pictures, candles, flowers, food, and papel picado (bright-colored paper with complex designs cut into it).
The origins of Dia de Muertos altars date back to the Aztecs, who believed that an altar helps guide the souls of the departed back to the world of the living, at least for a couple of days each year.
You can create a small or large altar, depending on the space you have available. In any case, be sure to include items your loved ones enjoyed, including their favorite food.
Visiting cemeteries is an important Dia de Muertos activity that helps families remember their loved ones who have passed away.
During Dia de Muertos, Mexicans clean and decorate graves with flowers, candles, and offerings.
In some cases, families spend a fair amount of time at the cemetery, eating food, drinking, and sharing memories. It’s a beautiful way to celebrate the lives of the dead and stay connected to them.
Enjoying Traditional Foods
Dia de Muertos is also an occasion to indulge in traditional foods associated with the holiday.
Chief among them is Pan de Muertos, a type of traditional sweet bread decorated with bone shapes (Pro tip: Dia de Muertos and hot chocolate is an otherworldly experience!)
Sugar skulls are some of the popular foods prepared during the festival. Like many other elements of Dia de Muertos, the origins of sugar skulls can be traced back to ancient Mexico.
The indigenous peoples of Mexico used to celebrate Dia de Muertos with actual skulls, but the Spanish disapproved of the practice, forcing them to find an alternative. That’s how one of the most iconic elements of Dia de Muertos was born!
In addition to pan de muerto and sugar skulls, Dia de Muertos also includes other Mexican delicacies such as mole, tamales, and pozole.
Another fun Dia de Muertos activity is face painting. Many people paint their faces to look like a sugar skull, or La Catrina, a traditional representation of death as an elegantly dressed woman.
Each year, professional artists offer their face painting services in various public places such as parks, cemeteries, town squares, or even schools.
Next Dia de Muertos, get your face painted. It’s a cool way to connect with a beautiful tradition, and it makes for a great social media post!
Wrapping It Up
Dia de Muertos is a festive time to remember and celebrate the lives of the dead.
Some typical activities, includes building altars, visiting cemeteries, enjoying traditional foods, and face painting,
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to get involved in the celebrations. Whether you’re in Mexico or far away, you can still honor your loved ones through these activities and keep the tradition alive.
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