El Día de los Muertos literally means the Day of the Dead. It is a 3-day Mexican holiday that is celebrated from October 31 – November 2, every year. As the name suggests, on this day, the families welcome the souls of their deceased loved ones for a brief reunion that includes food, drinks and celebration.
While October 31 is Halloween Day, November 1 is ‘el Día de los Inocentes’, that is, the day of the children or All Saints Day. According to this tradition, on this day, the gates of heaven open up for children spirits to rejoin their family for 24 hours. Similarly, on November 2, the gates are opened for the spirits of adults.
The Origin of Day of the Dead
The Day of the Dead is celebrated in contemporary Mexico and among those of Mexican heritage in the United States and around the world. Its roots go back to 3,000 years, to the rituals honouring the dead in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. The Aztecs and other Nahua people saw death as an integral, ever-present part of life.
After dying, a person was believed to travel to Chicunamictlán, the Land of the Dead. To reach Mictlán, the final resting place, the deceased person’s soul has to go through nine challenging levels. According to the Nahua rituals, the family members provided food, water and tools to aid the deceased in this difficult journey. This inspired the contemporary Day of the Dead practice in which people leave food or other offerings on their loved ones’ graves.
How Is the Day of the Dead Celebrated?
Many people mistaken the Day of the Dead as a Mexican Halloween. Although the two festivals fall a day apart and both are celebrated with costumes and parades, they are not the same.
On the Day of the Dead, the border between the spirit world and the real world dissolves. The souls of the dead awaken and return to the living world to join their families for a feast, drink, dance and music. In turn, the living family members treat the deceased as honoured guests and leave their favourite foods and other offerings at their gravesites.
Being a Mexican festival, the Day of the Dead is celebrated with Tacos complemented with Tequila and Beers.
Celebrate Halloween and Day of the Dead with Us!
On the Border is hosting a fusion of Halloween and the Day of the Dead celebration together on October 31, 2020. Join us with your friends and family for a grand feast with the scariest costume and get crazy with tequila shots, beers, and chilled cocktails.
Book your table for 31st October NOW!