BC: This book will open the eyes of the young to the Mexican holiday of El Dia de los Muertos which means 'The Day of the Dead'. It will also explore Hispanic food and dance!
FC: El Dia de los Muertos | Mexican Culture and Holidays | By Amanda Medlin
1: El Dia de los Muertos is Spanish for "the Day of the Dead." This is a traditional holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and other Hispanic Countries. Come along for the ride as we explore the practices and traditions that take place during this special holiday!
2: The Day of the Dead takes place on November 1st and November 2nd. It is a time when family and friends come together to celebrate the lives of people who have died.
3: November 1st is called All Saints Day. People celebrate all the saints, known and unknown, on November 1st. November 2nd is called All Soul's Day, and the dead are honored on this day. Both of these holidays are a part of the Day of the Dead.
4: This celebration is often confused with Halloween, which is an American holiday. However, the two holidays are very different.
5: Halloween has slowly become more about candy, trick-or-treating, dressing up, and the colors orange and black. The original customs of this holiday have almost disappeared. | The Day of the Dead focuses on celebrating the lives of loved ones who have passed on. It is a happy celebration, and many parades and traditional practices take place during this time.
6: Halloween takes place on October 31st. Kids from all across America get dressed up in festive costumes and go door-to-door asking people for candy by saying "trick or treat!"
7: El Dia de los Muertos is held on November 1st and 2nd. This is an overnight celebration that is held in cemeteries that are covered in decorations. People come and stay all night at the graves and have picnics with their friends and family.
8: To prepare for the Day of the Dead, families go to the graves of their relatives and friends and decorate them with flowers and things that the deceased person liked. Sometimes this will include pictures and food that they loved. It is done in memory of the dead.
9: For Halloween, some people put up decorations all over their houses. Pumpkins and cobwebs are often seen in windows and on the porches.
10: One thing that the Day of the Dead has that is not able to compare to Halloween is the making of an "ofrenda" or "altar".
11: The altars are built specifically for a person that that the family knows. They have candles, pictures, flowers, balloons, and things that symbolize the person that died.
12: The altars are not made to worship the loved one. It is made to remind the people that are still living of the happiness that existed when the family member was alive.
13: They are usually set up inside the house and are made within a week of the holiday. Lots of work is put into the "ofrenda" because it is supposed to honor the dead family members.
14: In Mexico, death is not viewed the same way that it is in America. Hispanics are brought up to believe that death is just the cycle of life. To enjoy being alive, you must remember and cherish the dead.
15: That is why el Dia de los Muertos is such an important holiday! The entire theme of this holiday is to remember the dead and the time spent with them.
16: El Dia de los Muertos is just one of the many exciting ways that Mexico differs from America. There are many other holidays that are celebrated in Mexico which differ from American Holidays.
17: For example, Mexicans celebrate a holiday called Cinco de Mayo which means 'the fifth of May". On this day Mexicans celebrate their victory against the French in the Battle of Pueblo with dancing and festivals.
18: Mexico differs from the United States of America in more ways than just holidays. Besides this, Mexico also has different food and dance!
19: The most traditional of all the Mexican dances is the Jarabe Tapatio, or the Mexican Hat Dance. It is taught to children all over Mexico while they are still in early grade schools.
20: Mexican food includes a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs. Spicy sauces, peppers, corn, guacamole, tortillas, and quesadillas are just a few of the exciting foods that can be found in Mexico.
21: Special Thanks to the following citations for their helpful information and images: Information used throughout the book Bella Online. 2009. 28 Nov 2009.