In the U.S. ghosts and goblins come out on Halloween, but in Mexico the celebration begins the night after, on November 1, Dia De Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. In many communities, families spend the night in cemeteries to commune with the spirits of their departed loved ones, decorating their graves with marigolds and elaborate candies of sculls and skeletons, setting up feasts of the dead’s favorite foods.

Respectful foreigners are welcome to participate in these private, solemn celebrations, and many find their own meanings in these rituals. Barbara Robertson certainly did, as she writes about her otherworldly Day of the Dead experience in Los Muertos, a story published in The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2008.

Filed Under Mexico, Travel


One Response to “Mexico’s Day of the Dead”

  1. Darya on November 3rd, 2008 7:47 pm

    We went to the Day of the Dead celebration last night in the Mission in San Francisco and carried a plaque to honor my neice who passed away last year. We painted our boys faces like skeletons and carried candles in procession and wound up in a park full of amazingly poignant altars. It is truly a life affirming holiday and one that helps all demystify and perhaps humanize death.

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