Día de los Muertos

Many cultures around the world set aside a date to collectively remember the deceased. On November 1st and 2nd in Mexico and throughout Latin America, families decorate altars and gravesites with candles, personal objects, and food and drink to celebrate family and friends who have passed on.

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Día de los Muertos 2006 Fruitvale, novios! by Gwen Harlow is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Rooted in Aztec traditions, Dia de los Muertos may seem macabre, but apparent in its festive colors and activities is a joyful acceptance that death and life are both simply part of the human experience.

Facts from National Geographic Education:

In addition to celebrations, the dead are honored on Dia de los Muertos with “ofrendas”—small, personal altars honoring one person. “Ofrendas” often have flowers, candles, food, drinks, photos, and personal mementos of the person being remembered.

Dia de los Muertos is spread over two days. November 1 is “Dia de los Inocentes,” honoring children who have died. Graves are decorated with white orchids and baby’s breath. November 2 is “Dia de los Muertos,” honoring adults, whose graves are decorated with bright orange marigolds.

A few KCPS schools including James Elementary and Woodland Early Learning Center have displayed altars for the holiday.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will host Day of the Dead Family Festival this Sunday from 11am to 4pm. The free event includes live music, dance performances, altar installation, and crafts.

Coyoacán día de muertos 11 by Guillerminargp is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

A colorful Mexican altar decorated with papel picado, a Mexican folk art.
Coyoacán día de muertos 11
by Guillerminargp is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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Posted in Culture

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