Honoring the Day of the Dead

Día de los Muertos

Honoring the Day of the Dead

Deacon Hector Villarreal, Contributor

All Souls’ Day is a Catholic tradition in which Catholics commemorate the dead by praying for their souls. Rituals include visiting family graves and bringing flowers to place at the graves. We also commemorate the dead in a special way by having Mass on All Souls Day, November 2n

People will be at the cemeteries a few days before November 2nd cleaning the graves and making them look nice. On November 2nd. people will flock to the cemeteries with flowers, mainly marigolds, and offerings for the departed loved ones. These offerings can include food, sugar skulls or anything else the person liked, and if the person was an adult, even cigarettes and tequila, that is, if the person liked to smoke or drink when he or she was alive.

In some parts of Mexico and other countries, families have the tradition of building an altar in their homes to remember their loved ones that have passed away. The altar consists of pictures of the deceased family members, candles, flowers, food dishes their loved ones liked, fresh fruit, sugar skulls and any other thing that the deceased person liked.

For some people, the idea of celebrating the day of the dead is a weird practice. For those that celebrate, it is a way of dealing with their own mortality, that is why they decorate sugar skulls and put names of people on them – dead or alive – and later eat them mocking or rejoicing in the concept of death which makes it feel more familiar, after all, we’re all going to die someday.

With the migration of people to the United States from Latin America many of their costumes end up in this country, this being one of them. People want to remember, honour and pray for their dead relatives in a special way wherever they are.

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