The day of the dead, also known as ‘Dia de Los Muertos,” is a unique and special holiday festival celebrated in South American countries such as Ecuador, Bolivia, and Guatemala. However, the holiday originated in Mexico, where the festivities are done on a large scale.
Modern literature is punctuated with text about culture and history. Reading such books demands a lot of time and imagination from a student. It is even harder to write school essays on the subject matter. For such reasons, students opt to seek help from websites with tons of collected sample essays on such topics. One such website that features many free essay samples about culture is https://eduzaurus.com/free-essay-samples/culture/. The Holiday of the dead is also celebrated in the US, in areas such as California and Texas. This festival is so popular and influential especially among people of Hispanic descent that the UN added Día de Los Muertos to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
So, what makes this holiday special? How did it come to be, and what are some of the special traditions of this day? Here are some interesting details about the origin, practices, and perceptions of Dia de Los Muertos.
What is the Day of the Dead/Dia de Los Muertos?
Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a special day set aside to celebrate life and death. Mexicans and other South Americans believe that when people die, they do not leave this world forever.
So, once every year, on Dia de Los Muertos, the living can visit their dead relatives and loved ones on their graves. This interesting holiday is popular with many, including students pursuing higher education in colleges and universities, who look to draw essay topics on culture.
How Did it Originate?
Several thousand years ago, the people of Aztec, Nahua, and Toltec decided that mourning the dead was disrespectful as they were still members of the community, who were kept alive in memory and spirit.
Pre-Hispanics set the tone for the day of the dead. Today, Dia de Los Muertos is a culmination of Christian feasts and pre-Hispanic religious rites. Usually, these festivities take place on the 1st and 2nd day of November. These days are also significant in the Catholic calendar as All Saints Day and All Soul’s Day. One thing’s for certain; the day of the dead is not the Mexican Halloween. However, similar these two traditions may be, they have slight differences.
Special Activities in the Celebration of the Day of the Dead
Many Mexican traditions are intertwined with the traditions of Dia de Los Muertos and Catholic traditions. For one, people celebrating this holiday erect altars in their homes and cemeteries, which are meant to welcome the spirits back to the living world.
The altars are packed with things, including water and food for the dead loved ones. Mexicans believe that those travelling between realms are often tired and hungry from their exploits.
However, the choice of items will often depend on the spirit. It is also common to see skulls and costumes with skulls on this day. Also, the choice of festivities will differ from country-to-country city to city.
The day of the dead is a special day for Mexicans and those who believe in the holiday. People get to meet their loved, lost ones while celebrating their lives. Whether you are in college or university, the tradition and practices around this day make for a compelling essay on culture.