Around this time of year, everyone seems to go crazy for Halloween. Memes and gifs of ghosts and pumpkins abound, and bloggers and beauty gurus have an endless supply of costume ideas. Not to mention that all anyone can think about is candy.
But not me. I was never the biggest fan of Halloween, and even though I wasn’t the only one among my peers with this sentiment, I didn’t quite fit in with their disdain. I still looked forward to this time of year, but more specifically to the day after the 31st. The Day of the Dead.
It might look similar on the surface, but there is so much depth and beauty to Día de los Muertos. It is a time where we get to think more profoundly about life and the people we have lost yet still love. There is often talk of being able to speak to the dead again, talk of them being among us during this time.
I’d say not many people still believe that the spirits of the dead come back to be among us, but the symbolism is still impactful. That is why we create altars in our homes, churches, and communities. These altars feature pictures of our dead loved ones, with their favorite foods and drink, and are adorned with marigolds. We paint sugar skulls lively colors and decorate the altars with vibrant papel picado.
Even though, we are figuratively surrounded by death, this holiday has a celebratory nature. During this time, we celebrate the dead, feel close to them again, and feel more comfortable with death. It is common to see images of and people dressed as skeletons at celebrations, but these skeletons are always depicted as lively and jovial.
This holiday takes the fear out of death and brings out its serenity. Día de los Muertos will always be my favorite holiday because it puts everything into perspective. It reminds us that there’s more this existence than our day-to-day lives. It reminds us that we’re small in the grand scheme of things, and no matter what, we’re all still connected, even in death.
Have you ever celebrated Día de los Muertos? What’s your favorite aspect?