What is the Day of the Dead?

What is the Day of the Dead? The Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated in central and southern Mexico during November 1st and November 2nd. It coincides with All Soul’s & All Saint’s Day which are more catholic holidays, but the indigenous people have combined this with their own ancient beliefs of honoring their deceased loved ones.

They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased souls are will reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits join their families to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.

English Language Development Program for Parents

In many Indigenous villages, beautiful altars are made in each home. They are decorated with candles, marigold flowers, plates of food with mole, fruits, peanuts, tortillas and pan de muerto, which is a special bread for all to enjoy. Little folk art skeletons and sugar skulls, purchased at open-air markets, provide the final touches.

The Day of the Dead is a holiday that keeps their families close, and a lot of time and effort goes into the holiday for a couple of months prior to the day. They believe that happy spirits will provide wisdom and protection to their families.

On the afternoon of Nov. 2, the festivities are taken to the cemetery where people share food, tell stories, play music and remember their loved ones.
The Day of the Dead is a holiday that is celebrated more and more in the United States.

Celebrate the Day of the Dead with Maria de Flor, Pina and her Uncle Ancho as they remember Ancho’s sister, Maria de Flor. Culturally enriching and vividly illustrated, Uncle Ancho recounts stories of his sister and how they celebrate and remember her life. Later that night, Pina can’t help but dream about her.

Teachers can learn more art activities for The Day of The Dead or by visiting Wikipedia.