Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in other Hispanic countries, and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere. The holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember family members and friends who have died, it is a way to celebrate and share their family tree and traditions. In Mexican culture, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle.
Mexicans view it not as a day of sadness, but as a day of celebration, because they celebrate the lives of their love ones. The tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
The holiday is sometimes called Día de los Muertos in Anglophone countries, a back-translation of its original name, Día de Muertos. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a public holiday starting on October 31st and celebrated through November 1 and November 2, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’s Day.
The tradition of the holiday includes building private altars called Ofrendas, honoring the deceased using calaveras, flores de cempazuchitl (marigolds), and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.
Our 8th grade students learned about this Mexican tradition, and they did a presentations to each classroom K-7th grade about the traditions and the cultural heritage. Their presentations included a Google slides presentation, presentations at the altar, and they also made “papel picado” (pecked paper) with each class.