Celebrating Death Through Life

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) , is a holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a bank holiday.

The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, around the same time as Halloween. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.
The origins of this Mexican holiday are rooted in observances dating back hundreds of years and particularly to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. Once a year the Aztecs held a festival celebrating the death of their ancestors, while honoring the goddess Mictecacihuatl, Queen of the Underworld, or Lady of the Dead. The Aztecs believed that the deceased preferred to be celebrated, rather than mourned, so during the festival they first honored los angelitos, the deceased children, then those who passed away as adults.

Dia de los Muertos is a big deal to a lot of people in South Texas, Mexico, Brazil, and New Orleans. Traditionally a Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos is a Latin American celebration where people take time to remember and leave offerings to their family members.

Santa Muerte (Our Lady of the Holy Death), is a female folk saint venerated primarily in Mexico and the Southwestern United States. A personification of death, she is associated with healing, protection, and safe delivery to the afterlife by her devotees.