Dead people are considered taboo or at least something macabre in many parts of the world. Not so in Mexico where they are being celebrated today. Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is an opportunity to concentrate on fond memories of family and loved ones who have passed away. Their memories are celebrated by cooking their favorite meals, displaying objects connected to their interests, accomplishments and lives and also by creating festive decorations. The thinking is that on this day it is easier for the souls of the departed to visit the living, so great efforts are made to make the visiting souls feel welcome.
The celebration of Dia de Muertos dates back to Mexico’s ancient cultures. Sophisticated cultures existed in Mexico already over 3,500 years ago (yes it does dwarf the less than 300 years of U.S. existence!). Today Die de Muertos is celebrated concurrently with All Saint’s Day (November 1).
The day is celebrated all over Mexico with the entire family participating with great enthusiasm – both alive and dead! Mexico City which originally was the center of the Aztec culture is one of the centers of celebration. So is the state of Michoacan, especially areas in and around the mountain lake Patzcuaro.