Udayavni Special

Why does Mexico celebrate the ‘Day of the Dead’ every year on Nov 2?


Team Udayavani, Nov 3, 2020, 11:22 AM IST

In Mexico, death is usually a cause for celebration during the annual Day of the Dead festival. Every year, Mexico and parts of Latin America observe November 1 and 2 as Día de los Muertos (Spanish for “Day of the Dead”)

Celebrating The Day of the Dead has a long history in Mexican Tradition. During the days of the Dead, some believe that the souls of the departed return to earth to visit with and to provide council or give advice to family and loved ones.

As per tradition, the spirits of children can rejoin their families on November 1, after the gates of heaven open at midnight on October 31. On the next day, November 2, the souls of adults can visit.

In Mexico, there is a tradition of visiting gravesites.  Unlike the United States where graveyards are privately owned and maintained, graveyards in Mexico are often publicly owned or managed by local churches.

It is said that people often take the opportunity to visit the gravesite and pull weeds, clean any debris and decorate the graves of loved ones.  Candles, flowers and the favorite foods of the deceased are placed on the grave and the family visits, eats, sings and tells favorite stories about those who have passed.

In 2008, the celebration was added by UNESCO to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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