Day of the Dead is a celebration that is celebrated on October 31- November 2. Most people think it’s the Mexican version of Halloween, but it isn’t. It isn’t about getting candy or dressing up, it is about remembering the people that we have lost and that we will forever remember. During the 3 week of October everyone is getting ready to prepare their altar. An altar is a table that is decorated with day of the pan de muerto, also known as pan muerto, Cempasuchil, food, and a picture of your loved one. If you have lost 5 people in your family then you must buy 5 day of the dead bread, there are tiny ones, are for the little ones, and big ones are meant for the adults. The flower that is commonly used is the Cempasuchil, it is an orange flower that is harvested in July and blooms in October. There are candles that are specially made for the this particular day. They are about 1 ½ feet tall and are about the size of a water bottle, those candles can not be lit until November 2. If you lost a little kid in your family then on October 31, you need to put a plate of food, october 31 is remembering the little kids in our families that have passed away. On November 1 you put as many plates as food as how many adults in your family have passed away. On the altar you place what the person used to like to eat and drink. You open the beverage and put a plate of food. You place the plate of food before you eat breakfast and before you eat dinner. November 2 is the day that you wake up early in the morning and go to the cemetery and take the big candles that you have bought and light them where the tomb of your loved one is. It is a tradition and a show of respect that you buy one for another person that you know that has passed away and and give it to the person that is at the tomb, the tombs are not to be left alone there is always supposed to be someone there. If you are at the tomb of your loved one you stay there for about 1-2 hours, just sitting there in silence. Last year I went to Mexico and it was my first time doing this. I wish I have gone this year, because it was a wonderful experience. It was foggy and silent, every tomb had 5 to 6 candles and it was cool just to see everyone from the whole little village that my mom grew up in, it was just a great experience, I can’t way to go again and to follow the steps and to keep the tradition that I have been taught to follow since a small age. I am happy to say that I am Mexican and I love my culture and my ethnicity.
This is what an altar looks like:
This is Pan de Muerto:
This is velacion, it is done on November 2:
This is Dia de los Muertos.