What is Day of the Dead?
Day of the dead is a day of the year which is celebrated in remembrance of friends and relatives who have passed away. Celebrated in many countries, this is an occasion that is observed annually.
The most well known celebration of the day of the dead is probably in Mexico, where it is known as Dia de los Muertos. Celebrated in the same day as all Catholics (November 2, All Saints’ Day), during this day Mexicans gather living family and friends usually for a feast and merry-making. Makeshift altars commemorating the dead are constructed, usually decorated with skulls, the deceased’s favorite drinks and food, as well as marigolds. The graves of the departed are also visited bearing these gifts.
Many think that Dia de los Muertos is the Mexican counterpart of Halloween, but the two are different both in date of celebration and intention. Many other countries celebrate day of the dead, such as in Brazil where offerings are also made to the departed; in the Philippines where the dead is commemorated by visiting the cemeteries and bearing flowers and candles; in Japan (Bon festival by Buddhists, celebrated over three days) ancestors are paid respect by visiting and cleaning the graves and making offerings on the family altar.