The Cultural Significance of the Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead AKA Dia de Los Muertos is a holiday dedicated to honoring the dead and has roots in both Catholicism (All Souls Day) and indigenous cultural traditions. There are many different cultures which celebrate this holiday in some shape or form, but none so famously as Mexico who do so in such a beautiful and colorful way.
Their celebrations often include altars where they light candles in honor of the dead and lay out photos, candles, marigolds, offerings of food, and other items which may have significance to the person who has passed on.
They make the favorite food and drink of the people who have passed and, in Mexico, often leave or eat them graveside to remember and celebrate with their dead friends and loved ones. The marigold is the official death flower for them because it’s believed that the vibrant color and distinct scent will help lead the dead to their altar on this special day.
Why so much effort for the dead? Many people believe that by creating an appealing offering, the spirits will bring them good luck, wisdom, protection and prosperity. Sugar skull cookies AKA pan de muerto (death cookie) are made as well as little sugar skull toys and trinkets and the now infamous sugar skull makeup.
Although many people probably love to do sugar skull or skeleton makeup for Halloween or something, it’s very significant in the celebration of Day of the Dead and not just a meaningless costume. If you wish to honor your passed on loved ones during this unique holiday, try creating a special altar in their honor with their favorite items, foods, candles, and some sugar skulls.