This is what Día de los Muertos *actually* celebrates

Vincent Isore  IP3 Getty

"As practiced by the indigenous communities of Mexico, el Dia de los Muertos commemorates the transitory return to Earth of deceased relatives and loved ones". It wasn't until recently that the Mexican government declared it a national holiday before it spread to the regions that previously condemned it for engaging in practices that they mistakenly believed "worshipped the dead". It's about honoring the dead, celebrating their lives and realizing that death is part of life.

"They glory in it, to a certain degree", Reed said.

The festivities gather friends, families and communities together as well.

"It's kind of a small market", Reed said.

Ferris pre-digital media sophomore Izzy Ledesma usually spends the day by getting together with his family and creating a memorial collage of past families, making food such as mole cookies and bread, and ends his day visiting the cemeteries of his family to pray.

The contrast in the attitudes toward death in Mexico in the United States was summed up in a famous passage about the Day of the Dead by Mexican author, and Nobel Laureate, Octavio Paz in his 1950 work, The Labyrinth of Solitude. The event is from 5:30 p.m.to 7:30 p.m.at both locations.

Norget also said, generally speaking, USA culture tries to shield people from the reality of death and move "the ritualization of death from the home" to funeral homes and hospitals. "This is a holiday that has really interesting culture".


This tradition of honoring the dead is goes back 3,000 years to the Aztecs. It matches the Roman Catholic celebration of "Todos los Santos y Fieles Difuntos".

Tortilla Jo's Mexican restaurant in Downtown Disney has been celebrating the culinary heritage of Mexico for some time now, but never has there been a more flawless time to visit, as the eatery observes Day of the Dead with its Dias De Los Muertos menu.

"A lot of times, we talk to people about the holiday, and if you don't understand it, you can have a ... negative connotation". The Seguin Art League provided pan de muerto for the altars, which symbolizes an offering to the souls. "It's not a scary holiday, but a celebration", Arriaga said.

Posole, she explained, is a chicken or pork soup with hominy. Pens and paper have been left at the altar for those that would like to leave a note. Last year, "People put up some lovely messages for their loved ones in five or six languages".

A DJ will play music for people to dance to.

CSI ran out of food early at its last Day of the Dead event, Diversity Council president Angelica Ortega said, so this time it ordered double the amount in expectation of a crowd.

She has found overwhelming public and private support for bringing Día de Muertos to her adopted hometown, including support from the city of Marion, Marion Business Association, MACA, Beam Funeral Service & Crematory, Centro Unido Latino Americano, the Corpening Memorial YMCA, Burrito Bros restaurant, The Crooked Door Coffee House and Refinery 13 taproom, according to the news release.

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