By: Jesse Aguirre
Dia De Los Muertos is a Mexican holiday celebrated from November 1st to November 2nd. The first day traditionally focuses on the children that have passed, while the second day commemorates the adults.
The holiday is usually celebrated by constructing an altar decorated with photos of the deceased, their personal items, candles, foods, beverages, and flowers. The family then gathers around in prayer to pay their respects to those who died.
Dia de Los Muertos is extremely important in Mexico and has become a component of the Mexican National identity as well as cultural heritage.
However, the same, typically cannot be said about those Mexicans who have either immigrated to or were raised in the United States. It is not uncommon for immigrants to assimilate into and adopt the cultural traditions of their new homelands. In this case, many of the
Mexican Americans in the United States have opted to forgo Dia de Los Muertos in exchange for more traditional American holidays such as Halloween.
It is a popular opinion amongst many traditional Mexican families, that throughout time, living in the United States one can oftentimes begin to gradually forget the cultural traditions of the homeland. Especially when the popularity of other cultural holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving are so dominantly celebrated in society and in media.
The plot twist in all of this is that we have recently begun to witness an adoption in mainstream American culture and media a large interest towards Dia De Los Muertos. Movies like “Coco” have piqued the interest of so many Mexican Americans who have paused to as themselves the question “why don’t I celebrate Dia de Los Muertos?”