According to National Geographic, Dia de los Muertos is a Latin American custom and national holiday in Mexico that combines indigenous Aztec ritual with the Catholic celebrations of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2), brought to the region by Spanish conquistadors.
This holiday is NOT a Mexican version of Halloween. Rather, "Day of the Dead festivities unfold over two days in an explosion of color and life-affirming joy. Sure, the theme is death, but the point is to demonstrate love and respect for deceased family members."
The word death is not pronounced in New York, in Paris, in London, because it burns the lips. The Mexican, in contrast, is familiar with death, jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it; it is one of his toys and his most steadfast love... Death is not hidden away: he looks at it face to face, with impatience, disdain, or irony... Mexican death is a mirror of Mexican life. - Octavio Paz, The Labyrinth of Solitude.
Courtesy of Ernesto Rodriguez Pixabay
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