- Cultural Calendar
Widely observed by the Mexican people, as well as those of Mexican heritage, Día de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” both acknowledges the relationship between life and death and also uniquely celebrates that celebration with joy.
On El Día de Los Muertos, those who are gone are still with us in spirit and memory. It is celebrated on November 1–2, when the spirits of the dead are believed to return in order to spend time with their relatives, and the family welcomes them with altars, joyful gatherings, and more. The altars and celebrations are frequently decorated with marigolds and candles, as well as skulls or “calaveras,” which can be made of a variety of materials — as well as sugar! It is popular at many Día de Los Muertos parties to include edible skulls made of sugar, cookies or cakes, decorated with vibrant colored icing and sugared flowers.
El Día de Los Muertos is the rare holiday in which death is celebrated as a vital part of life, and it is a unique opportunity to celebrate both those who are gone and the living who remember them. It is a powerful observation of the importance of death in the ongoing cycle of life.