Day of the Dead Project

Dia de los muertos

(Adapted from Spanish Portfolio Essay written by Elijah, Grade 10)

The Day of the Dead is a traditional Mexican celebration in which families welcome back the souls of their dead relatives for a “reunion” that includes food, drink and celebration. It’s a mix of Mesoamerican traditions, European religion and Spanish culture, the holiday is celebrated each year from October 31- November 2. According to tradition, the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31 and the spirits of children can rejoin their families for 24 hours. The spirits of adults can do the same on November 2.

The Day of the Dead has many traditions. Creating altars is how the Hispanic people honor their dead loved ones. Another tradition is making papel picado which are paper decorations that people make by cutting out complicated designs in the paper. Additionally decorating graves is a tradition that is very important because the holiday is all about celebrating the dead.

There are multiple symbols that represent the Day of the Dead, but one of the most popular images is a decorated skull. It is a Mexican tradition to make candy skulls called calaveras.

The Day of the Dead is an important celebration that has a rich history and many traditions connected to it. It is a way to honor the dead and it also represents the blend of cultures and religions that came together to form the holiday. It is important for us as students taking Spanish class to learn about Hispanic culture and traditions because it will give us a deeper understanding of the language we are learning.