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  • Writer's pictureJames Hock - MRH Faculty

History of Día de los Muertos

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

By Sasha

Día de los Muertos is celebrated on November 1st and ends on November 2nd, and these days are dedicated to prayer and remembering dead family and friends. This holiday originated in Mexico, and can be traced all the way back to the Aztec and Ashua people. They believed that once you die, you go to Chincunamictlán, the land of the dead, and after finishing nine difficult levels that take several years, you will reach Mictlán, the final resting place.

People celebrate Día de los Muertos by building altars in their homes with ofrendas, which are offerings. People offer tamales, chilis, water, tequila, and pan de muerto. The altar is typically lined by Marigold and orange or yellow cempasúchil flowers. The flower's scent helps guide the spirits back home.

A really important symbol of Día de los Muertos is calcas, which are skeletons. José Guadalupe Posada, a printer and cartoonist, is well known for his piece La Calavera

Catrina which was made in 1910. This shows a female skeleton who is dressed in fancy clothes and she has makeup on. This drawing was made to show how European fashion was being chosen over Mexican heritage and traditions. La Calavera Catrina is one of the most recognizable icons for Día de los Muertos.

Each day celebrates a different thing. The first day of Día de los Muertos is dedicated to celebrating and remembering infants and children who have died. The second day is dedicated to remembering the adults who have passed.

Ultimately, Día de los Muertos is an important holiday to keep the memories alive of loved ones who have passed, and celebrating their lives.


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by Elexia de la Parra · October 15, 2018. “How to Make a Day of the Dead Altar.” Artelexia,

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