Día de Los Muertos, which is known as Day of the Day in English, is nearly here. Celebrated throughout Mexico and celebrated by people of Mexican heritage wherever they live, Día de Los Muertos is an unique and interesting Mexican holiday that is celebrated over three days from October 31st to November 2nd. Day of the Day celebrations bring family and friends together as they honor and remember loved ones who have passed on. Altars, which are known in Spanish as ofrendas, are constructed as it is believed to help support the deceased on their spiritual journey into the afterlife.
The History of The Day of the Dead
Originally, Día De Los Muertos took place during the summertime months. Inspired by ancient pre-Columbian traditions that honored their deceased ancestors, the practice has been regularly observed for as many as 2,500–3,000 years. However, when Spanish conquistadors landed in Mexico in the 16th century, an adjustment was made to the timing of the celebration in order to coincide with the Western Christianity traditions of All Saints Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day. Consequently, Día de Los Muertos began to be observed on October 31, November 1, and November 2.
Modern Día de Los Muertos Celebrations
Today, Día de Los Muertos is a special celebration where families and friends come together as they honor loved ones who have passed on. The careful construction of elaborate and personalized altars honor the deceased and are decorated with calaveras or skulls, aztec marigold flowers, and favorite foods and beverages of the departed. The centerpiece of the altar is a photo or photos of the loved one. Candles are placed on the altar and family members and friends often spend many hours together at the altar in remembrance of those who went on before us. It is a beautiful and culturally significant practice that is a special part of the Mexican way of life.
Parque Las Palapas in Cancun
If you find yourself in Cancun during Día de Los Muertos, you are guaranteed to see Day of the Day celebrations around town. One popular event that will be held will be at the Parque Las Palapas from 5pm to 10pm every day during the three day event. One of Cancun’s most popular tourist attractions, the Parque Las Palapas is centrally located and you can enjoy live music, dance, a catrina contest, altar exhibitions and lots of great food. If you want to dress up yourself or your kids, this is the spot to be. The ambiance will be electric, and it is sure to be an experience you won’t soon forget.
Don’t forget to attend the Parque Las Palapas Día de Los Muertos event if you will be in Cancun from October 31st to November 2nd from 5pm to 10pm each day. In your own home, consider taking the time to create your very own Día de Los Muertos altar? A wonderfully unique tradition that honors our loved ones that have moved on, it is also a nice way to show respect to Mexico’s amazing and vibrant culture.