While modern Halloween exists purely to eat treats, dress up and carve pumpkins, el Dia de los Muertos is a picturesque reflection on love, life and Death.
In 2008 El Dia de los Muertos or “The Day of the Dead” was listed by UNESCO as “Intangible World Heritage”. The official UNESCO description of this Mexican festivity is simply <Indigenous Festivity dedicated to the Dead>.
This festivity is practiced by the indigenous communities of Mexico and by common folk, and it commemorates the transitory return to the Earth of deceased relatives and loved ones. It takes place on the 2nd of November, the day in which souls can leave the afterlife. Families help their beloved ones souls to get back by laying flower petals, candles, sugar canes and other offerings along the streets from the cemetery to their homes. The dishes that the dead person favoured are prepared and placed around the home filled with decorations and handcrafts.
Dead people are very important as it is believed that they are capable to bring prosperity or misfortune, depending on how satisfying the rituals are executed.
The Day of the Dead plays a great role in Mexican culture, especially for the indigenous community. The fusion between pre-hispanic religious rites and catholic religion brings together two opposite universes, combining them in an eccentric and colourful festivity that was able to change the country’s perspective of death.