Día de los Muertos! The day of the dead is a special holiday for Latin American countries. This holiday celebrates loved ones who have passed away. It allows Latin countries to express themselves and show off their love for a lost one. Many Latin American countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador, and Peru all join to celebrate this Mexican holiday on November 1st.
Some ways that people celebrate El Día de los Muertos, is by making an ofrenda, also known as an altar. An altar is a stand that consists of photos of family and friends, flowers, candles, pan de muerto, personal belongings, incense, paper, cut flowers, as well as candies. Family and friends get together to cook and reunite in order to celebrate the dead. While many people make their own altars, many also sell them, and some only use them for decorations.
El día de los muertos has dancing as well! Men and women dress up before the dancing starts. Women will usually wear a long skirt and shirt, with their hair tied up in either a bun or braids. This is known as Frida Kahlo style! Many of them also wear colorful necklaces and a headband full of flowers as well as a skull painting on their face. The male dancers will most likely have on brown pants, with a white long loose sleeve shirt, and most importantly is the sombrero that completes the outfit! Little kids also join all of the dancing as well. These dancers dance to celebrate the loss of their loved ones, or dance to let the dead know that they have not been forgotten. Many families go to these events to remember their lost loved ones.
Mr. de la Mar, the Hispanic Achievement Liaison at Oakland Mills, discussed the meaning of the holiday saying, “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die”. No matter how many loved ones we have lost, they will always be remembered in our hearts. Their spirits will also be alive, although they are no longer with us. El Día de Los Muertos will always be a special holiday to the latin community. It is a special event to celebrate our lost loved ones, as if they were still here!